A high-intensity quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale rocked Nepal along with many parts of east and north India, including Delhi on Saturday. The tremors, which were felt in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, lasted for about a minute and have taken away over 3000 lives.

The the past few years have seen many natural disasters striking highly populated regions around the world. Social media played a major role as well, as news spread over Twitter and Facebook. Technology over the years has improved and there’s particularly high level of interest when it comes to earthquakes and tsunami warning systems. Sensors and control centres have been setup all around the world that monitor seismic activity around the world. They communicate each other and fortunately, all this information is made public.

A whole bunch of developers have designed apps that read information from these centres and let you get alerts of earthquakes and tsunamis as they happen. We’ve compiled a list of some of the free apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry. They can be handy to inform your dear ones or possibly even predict an upcoming earthquake or tsunami.

1. Earthquake Alert! (Android)

Earthquake Alert! - allows for quick sending of alerts to close ones

The most popular seismic activity monitoring app on the Android Play store is called Earthquake Alert! This app weighs well under a megabyte, so it’s lightweight and takes close to no space on your device. Earthquake Alert! has an ad banner that’s visible at the bottom on one of the three tabs in this app – the news feed. The first tab displays all recent earthquakes and tremors while the second shows the map with all the points of activity on the map. Powerful earthquakes and tremors are marked in red while smaller ones are marked in green. Users can choose to filter quakes by their intensity, distance from you or by time. The app even lets you quickly send the news to others over a few messaging apps. If you felt the tremor, you can register your feedback on it by posting a comment on the USGS site.

2. Yurekuru call (iOS)

Yurekuru Call - offers alerts seconds in advance

Apple iOS users needn’t cry foul, there are a bunch of paid apps for earthquake alerts and there are also free ones. Yurekuru call is one such call. It is an app that’s available for both iOS and Android devices. The app gives warnings and alerts with details such as the intensity, time and the epicentre of the quake. Maps and detailed views with information including the depth of the epic-entre is also provided. The interesting feature of the app is that it also informs the user in advance when a earthquake is to hit.

3. Quakes – Earthquake Notifications (iOS)

Quakes - Earthquake Notifications - another free option for iOS users

Quakes – Earthquake Notifications is similar to Yurekuru call in some ways but it’s more interactive and better to look at. There’s more to it than just the interface. There’s a timeline that’s visible on the top of the screen along with the intensity of the quake. The locations marked on the map also give you an idea of how far you are from the epicenter.

4. Gempaloka (Blackberry)

Gempaloka - An option for BlackBerry users

Gempaloka is one of the few earthquake monitoring and alert apps for BlackBerry smartphones. In terms of compatibility, it performs perfectly fine across the entire line of products. Of course, a smaller screen means there are some limitations as far as interacting is concerned. Like all of the other apps we’ve talked about for iOS and Android, Gempaloka too shows a map with pointers showing the details of each seismic activity. Users can zoom into the map and view bits of information such as the location, intensity and affected area. The other advantage is its minute file size. The installer for example is no more than 65kB in size. The developers claim that the software is being used by more than 55,000 users. Users get notifications in the form of vibrations and glowing red markers.

Image cover credit: Getty Images

Publish date: April 27, 2015 6:20 pm| Modified date: April 27, 2015 6:38 pm

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