Mexico City plans to start warning about earthquakes through mobile text messages and social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.The new alert system should launch by September 19, a date marking anniversary of the 8.1-magnitude Mexico City earthquake that killed about 10,000 people in 1985.
Currently, Mexico City employs an earthquake warning system with radio warnings and sirens that don’t always go off, and some citizens report they cannot hear them.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, a likely contender in the 2012 presidential election, likes the idea for its simplicity. “I think we will have it in place soon, because it is not too complex,” he said. His administration is talking to several service providers to put the alert system in place.
Twitter has shown to be a valuable tool during disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis on numerous occasions. After the devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March, Twitter users shared the tsunami’s estimated times of arrival on U.S. shores before the government issued an official tsunami warning.