Applications to detect earthquakes – Cause, duration, effects, how to prevent

Earthquakes are devastating natural phenomena that have the power to drastically alter people’s lives in a matter of seconds. With the impossibility of preventing such events, the focus shifts to mitigating their effects, with early and accurate detection of these tremors being crucial. In this context, applications to detect earthquakes appear, technological tools that can be true allies in risk situations.

The advancement of technology has brought us to a point where our smartphones are not only communication devices but also potential earthquake monitoring instruments. These applications are based on seismic data collected globally and often in real time, providing users with up-to-date and vital information. They are designed to alert people, giving them precious time to prepare and protect themselves.

However, how does this technology that unites security to the palm of our hand work? How can these apps contribute to reducing the impact of earthquakes? I invite you, dear reader, to embark on this journey with us, exploring the universe of apps to detect earthquakes, their functionality and importance in our daily lives. After all, you never know when nature will surprise you.

Apps to detect earthquakes

The emergence of applications to detect earthquakes represents a great advance in the field of science and technology. These applications use sensors integrated into smartphones to detect land movements and provide alerts, contributing to the preparation and protection of people in cases of earthquakes. Let’s take a look at some of these apps:

  • earthquake alert
  • Earthquake Tracker
  • IGN Seismology PRO
  • My earthquake alerts
  • SkyAlert

Earthquake Alert

The Earthquake Alert application is one of the options available on the market that aim to help detect earthquakes and prepare for them. With a focus on prevention and alerting, this app seeks to bring accurate and up-to-date information to its users, directly in the palm of their hand.

This app monitors earthquakes around the world in real time, offering instant alerts whenever a significant tremor is detected. It is based on data from several reliable international sources, ensuring the veracity and effectiveness of the information.

Earthquake Tracker

Earthquake Tracker is a high-performance earthquake tracking application designed to provide real-time information on seismic activity around the world. This app is designed with the latest technology and uses data from a variety of trusted sources to ensure the accuracy of the information provided.

One of Earthquake Tracker’s most useful features is its ability to provide immediate alerts when an earthquake occurs anywhere in the world. These alerts can be customized to user preferences, allowing people to focus on the regions that are most relevant to them.

IGN Seismology PRO

The IGN Seismology PRO app is an effective tool for monitoring seismic activity in real time. Developed by the National Geographic Institute of Spain, this app provides detailed and up-to-date information on earthquakes around the world.

The great differential of IGN Seismology PRO is its robust and updated database, coming directly from the institute’s seismic monitoring stations. This trusted and scientifically validated source ensures that the information received by users is accurate and reliable.

My earthquake alerts

The My Earthquake Alerts application is a platform dedicated to providing real-time information on earthquakes around the world. This app allows users to customize their alerts to only receive notifications for earthquakes that meet specific criteria, such as geographic location and magnitude.


SkyAlert is an innovative app that provides real-time earthquake alerts. Originating from Mexico, a country with high seismic activity, this application was developed with the aim of saving lives, giving people precious time to prepare when an earthquake is detected.

One of SkyAlert’s distinctive features is its early warning system. When an earthquake is detected, the application sends an alert to users seconds or even minutes before the tremor reaches their location, depending on the distance from the epicenter. This functionality has become a must-have feature for many people, especially in earthquake-prone areas.

What is the cause of an earthquake?

Earthquakes are natural phenomena that occur due to the movement of tectonic plates in the Earth’s crust. The Earth is formed by several of these giant plates that move very slowly over a semi-fluid layer called the asthenosphere. The edges of these plates, where they meet, are areas of intense geological activity, known as faults.

Tectonic plates are constantly in motion, but the faults where they meet can get stuck due to friction. When energy builds up on one of these faults and the pressure becomes too great, the fault releases all the accumulated energy in the form of seismic waves, causing an earthquake.

The released energy propagates through the Earth’s crust in the form of seismic waves, which are what we actually feel during an earthquake. The intensity of these waves, and consequently the magnitude of the earthquake, depends on the amount of energy released.

What are the effects of an earthquake?

How long does an average earthquake last?

The duration of an earthquake can vary greatly depending on its magnitude and the local geology. In general, the vibration felt in the ground during an earthquake, which is really the result of the seismic waves released by the release of energy at the source of the earthquake (the hypocenter), typically lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Smaller earthquakes, less than magnitude 3.0, often go unnoticed and can only last a few seconds. Moderate to strong earthquakes, with magnitudes between 5.0 and 7.0, usually last from 10 to 30 seconds. However, extremely powerful earthquakes with magnitudes above 8.0 can last for more than a minute, with records lasting up to several minutes.

It is worth noting that even after the vibrations have stopped, the earth can continue to adjust for a period of time, leading to aftershocks that can last for days, weeks or even months after the main earthquake. Aftershocks are generally less powerful than the original earthquake, but can still cause additional damage to already weakened structures.

How to prevent an earthquake?

While it is not possible to predict or prevent an earthquake from occurring, there are several measures that can be taken to minimize its impacts and ensure personal safety. Here are some tips on how to prepare for an earthquake:

  • Create an emergency plan : Having a clear and well-communicated plan of action is essential. This should include escape routes, safe places within the home, and meeting points in case family members become separated.
  • Prepare an emergency kit : This kit should include water, food, medicine, blankets, a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, a portable cell phone charger, and other essential items you may need for at least three days.
  • Protect your home : Make sure that large furniture such as bookshelves and televisions are securely fastened so that they do not tip over during an earthquake. Reinforce your home’s structure if it wasn’t built to withstand earthquakes.
  • Know safety procedures : During an earthquake, protect yourself. The rule is “Duck, Cover and Hold”. If possible, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and hold on until the tremor subsides.
  • Install Earthquake Alert Apps : These apps can provide valuable warning seconds to minutes before an earthquake, giving you time to prepare.
  • Educate Yourself and Your Family : Education is one of the best forms of preparation. Learn about earthquake hazards in your area and teach your family how to respond during and after an earthquake.

By properly preparing for an earthquake, you can significantly reduce the risk of injury and property damage.

How is the magnitude of an earthquake measured on the Richter Scale?

The Richter scale is a logarithmic measure that quantifies the magnitude of an earthquake, that is, the amount of energy released during the seismic event. It was developed in 1935 by seismologist Charles F. Richter, hence the name.

The magnitude is calculated from the records made by seismographs, which are instruments capable of detecting and recording the seismic waves produced by earthquakes. These waves propagate through the Earth and are picked up by seismographs, which record their amplitude (how big the movement is) and duration.

In calculating the Richter magnitude, mainly waves called seismic body waves, which travel through the interior of the Earth, are considered. The maximum amplitude of these waves, recorded on the seismogram, is then corrected for a standard distance of 100 km between the earthquake source (the epicenter) and the seismograph.

As it is a logarithmic scale, each increase of one point on the Richter scale represents an energy release about 31.6 times greater. For example, a magnitude 5 earthquake releases 31.6 times more energy than a magnitude 4 earthquake. A magnitude 6 earthquake releases about 31.6 times more energy than a magnitude 5 earthquake, and so on.

It is important to note that while the Richter scale is useful for comparing the energy released by different earthquakes, it has limitations, especially for very large or very small earthquakes. For this reason, seismologists now use other scales, such as the Moment Magnitude Scale, which provide a more accurate measure of the energy released during an earthquake.