MyShake is a free app for Android phones that has the ability to recognize earthquake shaking using the sensors in every smartphone.
The new app can sense an earthquake even when the phone is being carried in a pocket or a bag.
It turns a smartphone into a mobile seismometer.
The researchers want users to download MyShake app, in the first instance, to help test and improve its capabilities.
Ultimately the idea is that recruited phones will be part of a network that not only gathers data but also issues alerts.
Destructive ground motions take time to move out from the epicenter of a large quake, meaning people at more distant locations could receive several seconds’ vital warning on their phones.
“Just a few seconds’ warning is all you need to <<drop, take cover and hold on>>,” said Prof. Richard Allen from the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.
Prof. Richard Allen has a paper about MyShake in this week’s Science Advances journal, but he has also been demonstrating it here in Washington DC at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
MyShake relies on a sophisticated algorithm to analyze all the different vibrations picked up by a phone’s onboard accelerometer.
This algorithm has been “trained” to distinguish between everyday human motions and those specific to an earthquake.
The achieved sensitivity is for a Magnitude 5 event at a distance of 10km (6.2 miles) from the epicenter.
In simulations, the app detects a quake correctly in 93% of cases.
All this is done in the background – much like health apps that monitor the fitness activity of the phone user.
Once triggered, MyShake sends a message to a central server over the mobile network. The hub then calculates the location and size of the quake.
False positives are filtered out because the server is connected to existing seismic and GPS monitoring stations, and – if the public take up MyShake – thousands of other phones.
MyShake is available for Android devices; an iOS version is very likely to come in the future.
Nepal has been hit by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in an area between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said.
The earthquake caused extensive damage to buildings and some injuries, eyewitnesses say.
Tremors were felt as far away as the Indian capital Delhi and other cities in northern India, which borders Nepal.
Several buildings, including temples are reported to have been reduced to rubble in Kathmandu.
Injured people have been brought to the main hospital. There has been no estimate yet on the number of deaths, but Reuters news agency reported that two people had died, one in Nepal, one in northern India.
Indian PM Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home and in Nepal.”
Aftershocks could still be felt across the region sometime after the initial quake.
Kathmandu was all but destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1934.
A 6.3- magnitude earthquake has hit eastern Mexico, with no immediate reports of damage or injury.
A 6.3- magnitude earthquake has hit eastern Mexico, with no immediate reports of damage or injury
According to the US Geological Survey, the quake was centered in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, about 260 miles east-southeast of Mexico City. The epicenter was relatively deep, 59 miles below the surface.
Local news media in Veracruz reported the 5:46 AM quake was felt strongly there, and it rocked buildings at least as far away as Mexico City.
Northern Chile has been hit by an 8.2-magnitude earthquake, triggering a tsunami alert and killing at least five people.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 20:46 local time about 52 miles north-west of the mining area of Iquique.
Waves of up to 6ft have hit some areas in Chile, and there have been power cuts, fires and landslides.
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in affected areas, where a state of emergency has been declared.
Chilean TV broadcast pictures of traffic jams as people tried to leave.
Officials said the dead included people who were crushed by collapsing walls or died of heart attacks.
Iquique Governor Gonzalo Prieto told local media that in addition to those killed, several people had been seriously injured.
While the government said it had no reports of significant damage to coastal areas, a number of adobe homes were reported destroyed in Arica.
Chile has been hit by an 8.2-magnitude earthquake, triggering a tsunami alert and killing at least five people (photo ABC News)
Further damage may not be known until dawn. The tsunami warning in Chile will last at least until 05:00 local time.
The quake shook modern buildings in Peru and in Bolivia’s high altitude capital of La Paz – more than 290 miles from Iquique.
At least eight strong aftershocks followed in the few hours after the quake, including a 6.2 tremor.
Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo told Chilean TV that some 300 women inmates had escaped from a prison in Iquique. The authorities are reported to have deployed a planeload of special forces to guard against looting.
He said President Michelle Bachelet was being kept informed. She is to travel to the affected area.
“We have taken action to ensure public order in the case of Iquique, where we’ve had a massive escape of more than 300 female prisoners, so that the armed forces and police can coordinate and provide security to the residents,” Rodrigo Penailillo said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (TWC) issued an initial warning for Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama.
However, all warnings, watches and alerts were later lifted except for Chile and Peru.
Tsunami watches – in which the danger of tidal waves is deemed to be less serious – had been in place for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras.
“Everyone along our coast should be alert and ready,” Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said on Twitter.
Ecuador later reduced its alert but maintained a high level of vigilance for the Galapagos Islands.
High waves hit parts of the Chilean coast within 45 minutes of the quake. Pisagua, Patache and Iquique all saw big waves.
“We have asked citizens to evacuate the entire coast,” Chilean home office minister Mahmud Aleuy said.
Evacuations were also ordered in Peru, where waves 6.5ft above normal forced about 200 people to leave the seaside town of Boca del Rio near the Chilean border, police said.
The area close to the epicentre is mineral rich, but none of the major copper companies reported any break in production.
Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world.
A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit off the northern coast of Chile on Sunday evening, prompting a brief evacuation of part of a coastal area but not causing any injuries or significant damage.
The strong quake – originally measured as a 7.0 – was centered 37 miles west-northwest of Iquique and struck at a depth of 12.4 miles, the US Geological Survey said Sunday. It hit at 6.16 p.m. local time.
A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit off the northern coast of Chile on Sunday evening
An emergency office said there was no major damage resulting from the quake, except for two small roadside rock falls in the Arica and Parinacota region.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no tsunami was expected.
A second quake, a 5.1 at almost the exact same location, followed 10 minutes later. An aftershock at 6.2 followed about six hours later.
The US Geological Survey reported that a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Northern California on Sunday night.
The epicenter was 48 miles west-northwest of Ferndale and 50 miles west of Eureka at a depth of 4.3 miles, the USGS said.
The quake, which occurred at 1:18 a.m. ET, was initially reported as magnitude 6.1 on the Richter scale, but seismologists revised it upward to 6.9. It was followed by about a half-dozen aftershocks, including one of magnitude 4.6.
There were no reports of any damage or injuries though the quake was felt widely and strongly, according sheriff’s and fire officials in Humboldt County, which includes most of the populated areas near the epicenter.
The earthquake epicenter was 48 miles west-northwest of Ferndale and 50 miles west of Eureka at a depth of 4.3 miles
Police in Eureka said the shaking lasted between 20 and 30 seconds.
Earthquakes are very common in Eureka, a city of about 27,000 people about 270 miles northwest of San Francisco and 100 miles south of the Oregon state line.
The probability of a “strong and possibly damaging aftershock” of magnitude 5.0 or greater in the next seven days was 90 percent, the USGS warned, adding that there was a 5 percent to 10 percent of another quake as large as or larger than the initial one in the next week.
No destructive tsunami was expected, and no tsunami advisory was issued, The West Coast/Alaska and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centers said.
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake has hit the central Philippines, killing at least 20 people, reports say.
The US Geological Survey said the quake struck underneath the island of Bohol, in a region popular with tourists.
People were killed as buildings and markets collapsed in Bohol and nearby Cebu province. Several buildings and churches were damaged by the quake.
The quake struck at 08:12 on a national holiday in Philippines.
Officials say that most of those killed were in Cebu, considered the second major city in the country.
At least five people died when part of a fishing port collapsed, reports the Associated Press (AP) news agency. Two more people died and others were injured when a roof at a market fell, AP adds.
Neil Sanchez, head of the Cebu disaster management office, told broadcaster ABS-CBN that they were trying to confirm reports that a school had collapsed.
Several buildings and churches were damaged by the Philippines earthquake
“Communication lines are quite difficult here,” he said.
“Even the disaster risk reduction management office has been damaged. We had to move elsewhere.”
The tremor triggered power outages in parts of Bohol, Cebu and neighboring areas, reports cited Philippines’ disaster management agency as saying.
Edgardo Chatto, the governor of Bohol, said that a church and a city hall building were damaged.
At least four people have been reported killed in Bohol and one on neighboring Siquijor island, reports say.
British man David Venables, who has lived in Cebu for seven years, said it was the strongest quake he had experienced.
“It’s a very strange and frightening experience when the very foundations of the house and surrounding area shake uncontrollably,” he said.
There were reports of aftershocks following the quake.
Cebu province, with a population of more than 2.6 million, is about an hour away by plane from Manila. Neighboring Bohol, a favorite of tourists because of its sandy beaches, is a short boat ride away from Cebu.
A new 6.8-magnitude earthquake has struck Pakistani province Balochistan, where at least 400 people died in a quake earlier this week.
Reports said the new quake hit remote Awaran district, killing at least 12 people and burying others under rubble.
An official told Pakistan television that communications already damaged by last Tuesday’s quake had been cut off.
Efforts to help thousands left homeless by the first earthquake have struggled against poor roads and separatists.
The US Geological Survey said Saturday’s tremor measured 6.8-magnitude and could be felt across Balochistan province.
Pakistan’s Meteorological Department classed it as an aftershock measuring 7.2 magnitude.
Abdul Rasheed Baloch, the deputy commissioner of Awaran district, told Pakistani television that one village, Nokjo, had suffered damage to most of its buildings, leaving people trapped under debris.
A new 6.8-magnitude earthquake has struck Pakistani province Balochistan, where at least 400 people died in a quake earlier this week
“The telephone system has been damaged and we are not able to talk to someone and find out the exact information about the losses… but we have reports of severe losses in that area,” he said, according to Associated Press.
Eight of those who died in Saturday’s tremor were from Nokjo, officials said, with another four killed in the Mashkay area.
An AFP reporter in Awaran said hundreds of patients being treated after the last quake fled a hospital in panic as the latest tremor struck.
Saturday’s quake was felt as far away as Karachi.
An office worker there described his chair shaking: “At first I thought it was a delusion or a false feeling. But all my colleagues ran out of the office. The shakes were heavy.”
Officials have estimated that about 300,000 people were affected by the earlier, 7.7-magnitude quake which leveled mud and homemade brick homes, injuring hundreds.
Many survivors have been sleeping in the open air or in tents.
Rescue and relief efforts after the earlier quake have been hampered by the region’s poor road network.
Officials have appealed to separatist military groups operating in the area following attacks on army units involved in providing assistance.
Pakistan’s official paramilitary force, the Frontier Corps, has been leading rescue and relief operations.
It already had thousands of soldiers deployed in the area because it is fighting a long-running separatist insurgency by Baloch nationalist rebels.
The violent force of Tuesday’s 7.7-magnitude quake caused the creation of a new 56ft long island off the coast of Pakistan near the port of Gwadar.
At least 30 people have been killed and other 800 have been injured after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Bushehr province in south-west Iran, officials say.
Rescue teams have been sent to the affected area, but darkness is hampering rescue operations.
The quake struck 90 km (60 miles) south of Iran’s only nuclear power station in Bushehr, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.
At least 30 people have been killed and other 800 have been injured after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Bushehr province in south-west Iran
However, the nuclear plant has not been affected and is working normally, officials have said.
The quake was felt across the Gulf in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Some 10,000 people are thought to live in the affected area in more than 50 villages, two of which have reportedly been completely leveled.
The governor’s office has sent generators to the area so rescue operation can continue overnight.
Seismologists said the quake struck at 16:22 local time at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles) near the town of Kaki, south of Bushehr – a Gulf port city that is home to Iran’s first and only nuclear power plant.
Iran’s seismological centre in Bushehr province, linked to Tehran University, registered the quake at a magnitude of 6.1.
Tens of aftershocks – the strongest measuring a magnitude of 5.4 – struck within an hour, sending many people into the streets for safety.
One resident in Bushehr told Reuters news agency that they could “clearly feel the earthquake” but there was no damage.
State media reported that phone lines had been brought down by the quake and its aftershocks.
The earthquake shook buildings across the Gulf.
The governor of Bushehr, Fereydoun Hassanvand, told Iranian state TV that the nuclear plant was not damaged.
An official with the Russian firm Atomstroyexport told Russian media that the quake “in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor”.
“Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm,” the official was quoted by Russian state news agency Ria as saying.
Iran’s nuclear programme has roused concern among major powers that Tehran wants to build nuclear weapons – a charge Iran strongly denies.
Iran straddles a major geological fault line, making it prone to seismic activity. In 2003, an earthquake in the city of Bam left more than 25,000 people dead.
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday killing at least two people and knocking out power in the capital.
The quake, which struck the western state of Guerrero at 19:47 local time, was strongly felt in Mexico City.
At least two people have died in the state, but reports suggest the country has escaped major damage.
An 18-year-old man was killed when a roof collapsed in Iguala, a small city between the capital and the tourist resort of Acapulco.
A second man, aged 25 was killed when a rock fell on a small van on the Mexico City-Acapulco highway, according to Reuters news agency.
The epicenter of the quake was 28 miles from Iguala in Guerrero and the tremor was 40 miles (65km) deep, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake, originally reported as 6.7 on the magnitude scale, was also felt in other states including Michoacan, Puebla and Hidalgo, local media reported.
“I was dreadfully afraid, I thought it was never going to end,” Laura Gonzalez, who was in a bar in the capital at the time of the quake which lasted 40 seconds, told Reuters.
A severe earthquake in 1985 killed thousands of people and wrecked parts of Mexico City, and many residents live with the fear of a repeat.
Shoppers at a popular department store in Condesa rushed out to the street, some of them crying and shouting, and traffic lights were out at several intersections, causing traffic jams.
“The most damage was in Iguala because the epicenter was very close to there,” a spokesman for Guerrero emergency services told Reuters.
Landslides had closed highways in the Pacific coast state but the duty fire officer in Acapulco said that while residents of the port city felt the earthquake and telephone services were down, there were no reports of major damage.
Power was knocked out in many districts of the capital and one building was evacuated, but Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said water services,
the subway and the airport were working normally.
“The city center is fine, there are people skating on the ice rink,” Mexico City emergency services spokesman Manuel Mondragon said of the winter entertainment facility set up in the central Zocalo square.
“At the moment, there is no reason for concern,” he told Reuters.
A source from phone operator Telcel said services went out briefly in some sections of the city as the mobile network was overloaded with people trying to call family and friends.
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Oklahoma at 10:53 p.m. local time Saturday (03:53 GMT), according to U.S. Geological Survey.
The seismic monitoring agency said the quake was centered about 44 mile east-northeast of Oklahoma City.
It had initially reported the temblor as a 5.2 magnitude quake.
The tremor was one of the biggest earthquake in Oklahoma history and caused significant damage.
Chimneys collapsed through roofs of homes in Lincoln County – 50 miles from Oklahoma City.
Damage to the Prague library included collapsed air conditioning ducts and a collapsed wall.
Several roadways have buckled, including Highway 62 and other county roads, according to KJRH radio.
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Oklahoma at 10.53 pm local time Saturday, according to U.S. Geological Survey
The quake – the biggest of four that shook the centre of the state – rattled a college football stadium 50 miles away and sent shudders through buildings and homes in distant communities and cities.
Emergency authorities had no immediate reports of injuries but one county’s sheriff’s office said it was responding to numerous calls and checking for any damages.
It said the quake struck near the community of Sparks — in eastern Oklahoma between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The temblor shook the stadium at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater near the end of the school’s football game with Kansas State.
The quake was one of several to rattle the state Saturday, including a magnitude 4.7 earthquake that shook the same area early Saturday.
Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said no injuries were reported to emergency management officials and that there had been no reports of injuries.
If the intensity of the Saturday night quake is confirmed, it would be the state’s strongest on record. USGS records show that a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck El Reno, just west of Oklahoma City, in 1952 and, before Oklahoma became a state in 1907, a quake of similar magnitude 5.5 struck in northeastern Indian Territory in 1882.
The quake was felt as far away as Tennessee and Wisconsin, according to reports received by the USGS.
Saturday’s earlier temblor, which hit at 2:12 a.m., woke people and pets as it shook an area that stretched from Texas to Missouri. Its epicenter was 6 miles north of Prague in Lincoln County, in the rolling hills about 50 miles east of Oklahoma City.
A 3.4 magnitude aftershock was reported at 2:27 a.m. from the same location, as well as a 2.7 magnitude aftershock at 2:44 a.m.
Oklahoma Geological Survey researcher Austin Holland told Oklahoma City television station KOTV that the earthquake and aftershocks occurred on a known fault line.
Baby Azra Karaduman, a 14-day-old infant was pulled alive from the rubble of the Turkish earthquake at almost 48 hours after the disaster struck.
Baby Azra Karaduman miraculously survived despite being naked in freezing conditions. The little baby mother and grandmother were later plucked alive from the same collapsed building.
A rescuer cradled baby Azra, who was then wrapped in a blanket and handed over to a medic amid a scrum of emergency workers and journalists.
She was said to be in good health but was flown to a hospital in Ankara.
Wednesday afternoon, a ten-year-old boy was pulled alive from the rubble after an incredible 54 hours.
Baby Azra Karaduman, a 14-day-old infant was pulled alive from the rubble of the Turkish earthquake at almost 48 hours after the disaster struck
According to Turkish authorities, yesterday the death toll had risen to at least 432 in Ercis and the provincial capital, Van, as a result of the 7.2-magnitude quake on Sunday.
The rescue teams worked against the time to free dozens trapped inside mounds of concrete, twisted steel and construction debris.
At least nine people were rescued on Wednesday, although many more bodies were discovered.
Authorities have warned survivors not to enter damaged buildings.
Thousands spent a fourth night outdoors in cars or tents in near-freezing conditions, afraid to return to their homes.
Baby Azra’s mother, Semiha, and grandmother, Gulsaadet, were huddled together with the baby clinging to her mother’s shoulder when rescuers found them, emergency worker Kadir Direk said.
There was a bakery at the ground floor of the building, which may have kept them warm, he added.
Kadir Direk said baby Azra’s mother was semi-conscious but woke when he reached her.
Baby Azra’s uncle Senol Yigit watched the rescue from outside, sobbing:
“It’s a miracle!”
“I’m so happy. What can I say? We had lost hope when we first saw the building.”
But rescuers could not find the baby Azra’s father and there were no other signs of life in the shattered building.
Baby Azra’s family lives in Sivas, central Turkey, but was visiting the girl’s grandmother and grandfather.
A 9-year-old boy, Oguz Isler was also rescued along with his sister and cousin, but last night he was waiting at the foot of the same pile of debris that was his aunt’s apartment block for news of his parents who remain buried inside.
Little Azra, a two weeks old baby girl, has been rescued this morning from the shattered ruins of a building in the city of Ercis, after she miraculously lived more than 47 hours trapped.
Baby Azra was found naked in the rubble, making her survival all the more remarkable because of the freezing temperatures in the region.
Azra was immediately rushed to a medical unit.
Little Azra, a two weeks old baby girl, has been rescued this morning from the shattered ruins of a building in the city of Ercis, after she miraculously lived more than 47 hours trapped
Thousands of people spent a second night under tents, in cars or huddled round small fires in towns affected by the massive earthquake that hit eastern Turkey on Sunday.
The earthquake death toll has risen to 366 overnight, and hundreds more are still missing after the quake and more than 200 aftershocks.
The town of Ercis and the provincial capital Van are by far the most affected areas after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
Seven people were rescued overnight.
Mesut Ozan Yilmaz, 18, who survived for 32 hours under the rubble of a tea house where he had been passing time with friends, said it seemed like the end of the world.
“It was like the judgment day.”
Mesut Ozan Yilmaz told CNN Turk how he survived by diving under a table.
“The space we had was so narrow. People were fighting for more space to survive. I rested my head on a dead man’s foot. I know I would be dead now if I had let myself go psychologically.”
Crowds of residents gathered around collapsed buildings in the city, falling into silence as each person strained to hear even the faintest signs of life under the crumbled concrete and twisted steel.
According to Disaster and Emergency Administration, 1,301 people had been injured and 2,262 buildings had collapsed.
Up to now, the Turkish Red Crescent distributed up to 13,000 tents, and was preparing to provide temporary shelter for about 40,000 people, although there were no reliable estimates of the number of people left destitute.
Ahmet Arikes, 60, from Amik, a village outside Van that was reduced to rubble, said:
“We were sent 25 tents for 150 homes. Everybody is waiting outside, we’ve got small children, we’ve got nothing left.”
Soon after, the Turkish Red Crescent announced that 12,000 more tents would be delivered to Van today.
Van, usually a vibrant city with a large population, resembled a ghost town with no lights in the streets or buildings.
In Ercis, thousands of people, mostly men, paced the streets, stopping to look at the destruction or whenever there was some commotion at a rescue operation site.