A small but potentially life saving update has been made to Google Search around earthquakes. Now you can type in “earthquake” or “earthquake near me” in Search and get instant information about the magnitude of the temblor, its epicenter and survival information all at the top of the search page.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that approximately 500,000 earthquakes occur around the globe each year, 100,000 of which can be felt. Now people who feel the effects of an earthquake can ask Google directly about the disaster and get timely information to help them stay safe.
In the event of an earthquake, searches for “earthquake,” “earthquakes near me” or similar queries will give you an at-a-glance summary about the quake, right at the top of the search page.
With many of us living in earthquake active areas, this type of information can be not just handy but potentially life saving.
The update is a back end update to Search so there is nothing that users need to do to get the information. Anyone can type in “earthquake” to search now and get information on quakes that have
been measured globally. The real power of this change, however, is when one strikes near you. That is when the new search information will be displayed.
Information will include a summary of the size of the quake, a map of the affected areas, and tips to safely navigate the aftermath. Oftentimes, you really want to know whether you just felt a small earthquake nearby, or a larger earthquake farther away. The map will show areas that shook with various intensities (known as a shakemap), so you’ll be able to quickly assess the reach of the earthquake as well as its epicenter.
Ultimately there is a wealth of information at your fingertips and this could prove to be very helpful in getting help or getting out of an area after a quake.