BERKELEY (KRON) — Dr. Peggy Hellweg is thrilled the MyShake app is producing results.
It sent out an alert Tuesday warning of potential shaking to people who’ve downloaded the app on their cellphones and were located close to the epicenter of a 4.3-magnitude earthquake.
The quake rattled the unincorporated town of Parkfield in Monterey County.
Initially, Tuesday’s quake registered as a magnitude 4.8, before being lowered.
The threshold to trigger the alert is a magnitude 4.5 or larger.
“From my point of view, the app is great because you know you’ll find out,” Hellweg said. “Now, you might find out after the shaking. It may come before you feel the shaking, or it may come while the shaking if happening where you are.”
The app was released to the public in October, and is a separate component of the west coast pilot-program, Shake-Alert, an experimental earthquake early warning system sponsored by the United States Geological Survey.
With support from the California office of emergency services, the app was developed by the U.C. Berkeley seismological lab where Dr. Hellweg is the operations manager and a seismologist.
“We are looking forward to being able to do it for many more earthquakes,” Hellweg said. “And making a difference to people’s lives and resilience from earthquake.”
In Tuesday’s case, Hellweg said it took less than 10 seconds for the MyShake app to send out an alert when the quake struck.
The app has been downloaded more than 900,000 times.
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