A strong earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale shook the country in the early hours of this Friday, March 10, 2023. According to the report from the Colombian geological service, the earthquake had a depth of 151 kilometers and its epicenter was in the municipality of Los Santos, Santander.
The remittance was felt in various areas of the country such as Santander, Caldas, Cundinamarca and certain areas of Valle de Cauca. In fact, several inhabitants of Bogotá took to social media to report their reactions to the situation.
Some people also indicated on social networks that the Android earthquake alert system sent them a notification moments before the tremor was felt. How is this tool activated?
This is the Android earthquake alert system, a free service that detects earthquakes around the world and it can alert android users before the shaking starts.
“Earthquakes occur daily around the world, and hundreds of millions of people live in earthquake-prone regions. Early warnings can help people prepare for tremorsbut building and deploying public infrastructure to detect and alert all of them of an earthquake is very expensive”, reads the section Crisis response, of Google.
“We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with useful and timely earthquake information when they use Google Search and a warning with a few seconds in advance to save their loved ones and themselves if necessary”, he adds.
How does it work?
Android has two types of notifications designed to alert users of an earthquake. Both types of alerts are sent only in the event of earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 or greater.
- Designed to warn you of light tremors and provide more information when you tap the notification.
- Only sent to users who will experience tremors of 3 and 4 degrees on the MMI scale during an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 or greater
- Respect volume settings, ‘Do Not Disturb’ and device notifications.
Alert to take action
- Designed to get the user’s attention before they start to notice moderate to strong shaking, so they can take steps to protect themselves.
- It is only sent to users who will experience tremors of 5 or higher on the MMI scale during an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 or higher.
- It will ignore the ‘Do Not Disturb’ settings, turn the screen on and play a loud sound.
Tapping on any of the alerts will display Earthquake Safety Information, which consists of five steps the user can take to increase their safety after an earthquake. It also provides a detailed map for a first estimate of the location and magnitude of the earthquake.
This is how the tremor was felt in several cities in Colombia
Local authorities have not reported any injuries or significant material damage so far. However, Thousands of citizens indicated in the different social networks that the tremor was felt quite strong throughout the national territory.
Likewise, several people were evacuated from their respective buildings. The Geological Service indicated that other telluric movements have been reported in the course of the morning, since this was the second earthquake of more than 3.0 degrees that was registered in Los Santos.
What to do in case of an earthquake?
Colombia, as detailed by the Geological Service, is one of the nations in the region where the most tremors occur and this is due to the fact that the country is located in a “complex geological zone.”
The SGC also recommends that, in this type of case, it is best to remain calm. “This will allow us to act with greater security. The first thing to do is seek protection. If you are in a seismic-resistant construction, locate yourself near the columns, under a desk or in areas marked as safe, always away from glass or items that may fall,” the entity said.
Then, he added: “Try to get out immediately and, during the exit, keep an eye on your surroundings to identify the dangers during the evacuation. Avoid the use of elevators and do not go under door frames, as they help to dissipate the energy of the earthquake, so they can break and collapse.”