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.
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.
You’ll also find clearly displayed tips on what to do next to stay safe from damaged buildings and during potential earthquake aftershocks. To give you the ability to confirm aftershocks in the hours and days after the event, we’ll also show information about other recent earthquakes to put the tremors into context.
We hope that by displaying this result directly in Search, people will have fast and easy access to the information they need to stay safe in the face of an earthquake.
Posted by Chris Keitel, Software Engineer