A magnitude of 5.3 earthquake shook the coast of Southern California of United States on April 5. As per reports, this is the strongest one to hit this part rattling nerves across the Los Angeles area in several years. This has fuelled fears that a big one could come and it has placed emergency service on high alerts in the nearby areas. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) predicted that the state has a 46 percent chance of a 7.5 magnitudes or higher quake within the next 30 days. But some people already knew about the earthquake before it even hit. Yes, those who had a beta QuakeAlert application on their smart phones received a warning before the ground began to tremble.
The selected few who received an early alert were beta testers for an app QuakeAlert. A Californian company, Early Warning Labs built the idea. The app issued an alert about a 5.3 earthquake to all the people staying near Downtown Los Angeles about 30 seconds before the shaking started. Founder Josh Bashioum told the BuzzFeed News that hundreds of alerts went out across Southern California, giving users “anywhere from just a few seconds to ten of seconds” of lead time before the shaking reached them. “Today was a huge success. We saw the threshold filters work extremely well,” said Bashioum.
The Los Angeles Journalist Knew it too.
That was the first earthquake I’ve felt since I got access to the @EarlyWarningLab beta app. I had 34 seconds warning—enough time to drop, cover, and hold on, which I would have done if I knew shaking was going to be strong. pic.twitter.com/Bx4Sn2imUW
— Alissa Walker (@awalkerinLA) April 5, 2018
As of now the app is limited to a relatively small number of scientists, businesses and civilians. Bashioum informed that the plan is to bring the app in the forefront in a large scale by this summer. The application is for free and the company hopes that at least hundreds of thousands of people would use it in the near future if not millions. This will be the first time that large number of Americans will have an access to such a warning technology. However, this is not the first idea that a country will use an early warning app. Japan, Taiwan and Mexico have already implemented such app to save life.