Mobile Earthquake Early Warning Trend: Manual Activation in Most Brands

August 6th news, according to the official measurement of China Earthquake Networks Center, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake occurred at 2:33 am today in Pingyuan County, Dezhou City, Shandong Province. The epicenter was at a depth of 10 kilometers. Strong tremors were felt in Shandong, Henan, Hebei, Beijing, and other areas.

An earthquake occurred in the early morning, and many residents received earthquake warnings while they were sleeping. Users from Shandong province reported being awakened by sharp alarms emitted by their phones, as well as experiencing phone vibrations or flashes. As the countdown ended, the seismic waves arrived on time.

In the target area where the destructive seismic waves have not yet arrived, even a few seconds in advance can provide valuable time for people to take emergency shelter. However, many users expressed that they did not receive relevant warnings. Today, topics such as ‘earthquake warning’ and ‘Apple earthquake warning’ have surged on Weibo’s hot search.

Currently, many smartphones on the market have implemented earthquake early warning functions. The system informs users of earthquake warning information such as epicenter location, predicted magnitude, estimated intensity, and warning time through pop-up windows and alarm sounds several seconds in advance. The length of the earthquake warning time depends on the distance from the epicenter. Areas closer to the epicenter will have shorter warning times, and phones at different distances from the epicenter will receive different levels of alert notifications.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi’s Approach to Earthquake Alerts Hits The Nail Right on the Head

Specifically, in terms of various mobile phone brands, most domestic brands such as Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, vivo, etc. have built-in “earthquake early warning” functions. However, it is not enabled by default. Overseas brands like Apple, Samsung, and Sony lack localization details and have not yet built-in related functions. Users need to manually download relevant applications.

Our country’s earthquake early warning technology is relatively mature. The implementation of this function is achieved by installing earthquake early warning monitoring devices in advance by relevant institutions. When an earthquake occurs, seismic waves are divided into longitudinal waves and transverse waves, with the former having a faster propagation speed and less destructive power, while the latter is the opposite. Earthquake early-warning utilizes the time difference between these two types of waves to issue alerts. Once the monitoring devices detect longitudinal waves, they immediately send signals to the monitoring center. The center rapidly assesses seismic parameters and timely issues warnings to areas that have not yet been reached by transverse waves but may be affected.

Regarding why the default setting of the “earthquake warning” function is not enabled on mobile phones, Xiaomi staff responded on Weibo: The scenario and form of earthquake warning itself are quite unique. If it is enabled by default without users fully understanding this feature, it may cause panic when an earthquake occurs, leading to additional personal safety accidents. Therefore, after enabling the function, it is necessary to watch a mandatory reminder demonstration to avoid unnecessary panic.

Apple customer service responded that the iPhone also has earthquake warning functionality, but it is currently only available in countries and regions with frequent earthquakes such as Japan and Haiti. Mainland China is restricted from using this feature due to regional limitations. The customer service representative stated that the iPhone can also achieve earthquake warning functionality: Step one, turn on the “vibration” switch; step two, you need to use a third-party earthquake warning app, which can be downloaded from the app store.