Public Alerts, a notification service for environmental changes that is already used in the United States, will be brought by Google to users in Japan – one of the most environmentally active areas on Earth.
It is the first time for Google when it extends its alert serviced outside of the United States. Japan is located in one of the most dangerous areas in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Ring of Fire. The country is hit by around 5,000 earthquakes every year and tsunami or earthquake warnings became a part of the local culture. Japan’s population already uses various apps and services that offer local alerts in case of dynamic weather, and Google is expected even more to provide vital, localized data in case of emergency, according to the international press.
Beginning this week, real-time earthquake and tsunami warnings will appear as a part of Google’s desktop and mobile Japan search products, including Maps and Google Now. Using data from the Japan Meteorological Agency, the mobile alerts will also offer detailed evacuation information.
“Google has newly partnered with 14 Japanese prefectures and cities, including seven from the Tohoku region, to make their government data available online and more easily accessible to users, both during a time of crisis and after,” said Google’s partner technology manager, Yu Chen.
Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Gifu, Mie and Tokushima prefectures, as well as the cities of Chiba and Kawasaki, agreed to provide relevant information to Google if a major earthquake or other emergency occurs, according to Kyodo news agency.