Since the release of MIUI 11, Xiaomi’s system has an earthquake warning feature. According to MIUI, its warning system has alerted users of over 35 earthquakes in China. The company was not specific with regards to the classification of the earthquakes. Nevertheless, it stated on its Weibo handle that most of these earthquakes were of magnitude 4.0 and above. According to Xiaomi, its earthquake warning feature is now available on almost 9 million smartphones and TVs.
These devices are not just smartphones, even some Xiaomi TVs come with this feature. A compatible device will alert the user if there is an impending earthquake. Today is the 2021 National Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Day. Thus, the company used the opportunity to announce its contributions to curbing the effect of natural disasters.
Xiaomi further announced that the warnings were sent to about 25 provinces in China. Unfortunately, the company does not have complete coverage in China yet. So far, in its almost 18 months of existence, the MIUI earthquake detector has detected about 35 earthquakes. However, Xiaomi will make this system work better by cooperating with the Disaster Mitigation Research Institute. The company will also cooperate with the National Early Warning Release Center, National Emergency Broadcasting, and China Earthquake Networks. These cooperations will make the warnings get to more people, even non-MIUI users.
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Xiaomi MIUI “Earthquake Warning” Feature – How It Works
The principle of the earthquake “early” warning system is to use the time difference from the faster-propagating waves to make predictions. Since these waves emanate from deep below the surface and move very fast, the warning period is usually in seconds. The faster longitudinal wave and the slower transverse wave have a relationship.
Since the longitudinal relatively harmless wave arrives first, the arrival time of the associated destructive transverse and surface waves can be quickly predicted. The arrival time difference between these waves is usually very small. Theoretical studies have shown that if the warning time is 3 seconds, the casualty ratio can be reduced by 14%. If it is 10 seconds, the casualty ratio is reduced by 39% while if the warning time is 20 seconds, the casualty ratio can be reduced by 63%.
Earthquake prediction is much more complicated than it seems. The authenticity of Xiaomi’s earthquake prediction feature may be in doubt. However, it is a good thing that it is cooperating with several agencies within the country. This cooperation will probably discard some of the warnings. However, since the feature is already active, there is always room for improvement.