Apple is currently beta testing a number of features for the next version of its mobile OS, and one of them might have helped a little today.
It’s an earthquake early warning system, and iOS5 users can turn it on with the flick of a finger. It was originally included with Japan in mind, and it works with their existing well-developed warning system. But it shouldn’t be to hard to adapt it to also work with the notification systems here in the US.
Then again, it might not be all that useful here in Virginia, or useful in much of the US, in fact. Using this feature will likely help to drain battery life,and there just aren’t that many earthquakes in this region. Today’s quake inspired me to go see how many quakes have hit the DC area since I moved here in 2002. I found press mentions of 4 other earthquakes; I had only known of one and slept through the others.
Also, the US doesn’t have quite as sophisticated warning system as in Japan.
Japan has the most advanced earthquake early-warning system in the world. A nationwide online system launched in 2007, it detects tremors, calculates an earthquake’s epicenter and sends out brief warnings from its 1,000-plus seismographs scattered throughout the country, one of the most earthquake-prone nations on the planet.
image by martinluff