Google announces earthquake alert system for California Android devices

Google announced Tuesday that it will send earthquake alerts to Android devices in California with a new technology. 

Android phones will serve as a "mini seismometer" to detect when an earthquake might be happening, and will display information about the quake when the user searches on Google.

The company said that its phones contain "tiny accelerometers that can sense signals that indicate an earthquake might be happening."

If a phone detects a movement consistent with an earthquake, it will send the information to a server alongside the location. The server connects and checks against many phones to see if an earthquake is indeed happening. 

"To start, we’ll use this technology to share a fast, accurate view of the impacted area on Google Search," a press release stated. "When you look up 'earthquake' or 'earthquake near me,' you’ll find relevant results for your area, along with helpful resources on what to do after an earthquake."

Google said that they worked with seismology and disaster experts to create a "crowdsourced" approach for detecting earthquakes. 

"An early warning can help people prepare for shaking, but the public infrastructure to detect and alert everyone about an earthquake is costly to build and deploy," the release stated.