Google’s earthquake warning system failed to send alerts and warn Turkish people before February’s deadly tremor.
According to Google, its alert system can give the user up to minutes’ notice before there is an earthquake. Before the first biggest quake alert were sent to millions. This system works only on Android phones as they are much more affordable making up to 80% of phones in Turkey.
For a normal human, it raises stakes when Google makes a promise to deliver a service like earthquake early warning. Micah Berman the Google product lead said that he is confident enough that his system fired and sent alerts. However, there was no evidence given by the company about the alerts received widely.
This earthquake was considered a deadly one because the first major 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of morning and then another major thunder shook the surrounding at lunchtime. BBC was able to find only a limited number of users who received warnings about the earthquake which still fails the Google system.
Due to this system failure around 50,000 people died in February’s earthquake.
This Google’s alert system was announced in Türkiye June 2021 and this system is operational in dozens of countries around the world. The company describes this alert as a core part of the Android system and a life-saviour source. This whole system works because of the tiny accelerometers that can detect shaking. The strength of an earthquake is estimated when many phones shake at the same time where Google can pinpoint the epicentre.