Japan is known for earthquakes and they have technology in place to give them early warning. On Monday, an alert that a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck Japan was sent out by the Japan Meteorological Agency at 5PM Japan time which triggered the alert to be televised immediately nationwide to notify the public, interrupting normal programming.
People were in a panic and in shock to see that a quake the same magnitude of the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake, which killed more than 18,000 people and triggered a massive tsunami, was about to hit the center of Tokyo. Luckily it turned out to be a false alarm as the agency cancelled the alert just seconds later. Unfortunately the notification was already sent out which caused some train stations to shut down temporarily.
The alert was also sent by an app called Yurekuru (which literally translated means “shake is coming”) to millions of people’s phones. It’s a mobile app that sends push notifications to your phone minutes to seconds before the earthquake reaches you so you have enough time to take cover. They later apologized for the mess up.
Social media was being flooded with screenshots of the app displaying the potential disaster, counting down the seconds on the app which quickly went viral as people took cover. Fortunately the quake never hit but it’s a good reminder to always be prepared. Remember an earthquake can strike anytime so get an earthquake kit and know what to do during an earthquake.
Similar Earthquake Early Warning systems are being developed in Canada and the US which would provide citizens time to take cover but an app has not been officially launched.
Are you prepared?