With the support of the Clinton Global Initiative, partners are calling on the open source community to help the Caribbean island implement financially friendly EEW systems.

Photo: iStock / petrovich9

In January 2020, Puerto Rico was killed by earthquakes for several weeks, wreaking havoc on homes, infrastructure, and a large number of citizens. According to some estimates, the economic duty caused by the earthquakes in the Greater Antilles region caused $ 3.1 billion in damage. The Caribbean is usually a very seismic area because of its location – sitting at the intersection of Juggernaut tectonic plates.

And in addition, traditional earthquake early warning (EEW) systems, designed to provide people with time to protect themselves from seismic events, are very expensive, with the result that most countries and regions do not have area-wide frequencies. . Come in Cricket, which calls itself the “seismology as a service” initiative and which wants to change the affordability and extensibility of such systems. In partnership with IBM, the Clinton Global Initiative and others, it plans to provide Puerto Rico with an open source EEW option.

Copied from OpenEEW (open source earthquake warning), Grillo has developed sensors (also with the help of the Linux Foundation) that are relatively inexpensive, open source hardware plans — ones that can quickly detect earth movement, use cloud-based algorithms to ensure that an earthquake occurs (or have coming in), and then give alerts to people through the mobile app or wearable devices.

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Copied from OpenEEW (open source earthquake warning), Grillo has developed sensors (also with the help of the Linux Foundation) that are relatively inexpensive, open source hardware plans — ones that can quickly detect earth movement, use cloud-based algorithms to ensure that an earthquake occurs (or have coming in), and then give alerts to people through the mobile app or wearable devices.

More specifically, Grillo cuts EEW’s overhead costs by using IoT, cloud services and artificial intelligence, as well as Node-RED analysis tools and a Docker-centric container solution. As Grillo has, OpenEEW is “a promising low-cost and easy-to-use option that uses shelf technology instead of the million-dollar systems often used today.”

Last month, former U.S. President Bill Clinton announced $ 25,000 in rebates and open source payments from IBM, along with plans proposed by Grillo. In addition, the Puerto Rico Science Trust also promises funding for the project.

Since 2017, Grillo has launched kits in Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica. And the company now wants to roll out its technology in other seismically active areas, such as Nepal and New Zealand. Puerto Rico is the first place in the Caribbean to land on open source devices (so far about 90 of them are to be located around the island).

And why do so few countries have a nationwide earthquake early warning system? The price of the implementation, Andres Meira, Grillo’s founder, told TechRepublic. “The Japanese EEW is said to have cost about a billion dollars,” Meira says. Added: “Others like ShakeAlert and the Mexican Seismic Alarm System (SASMEX) regularly require $ 10 million.”

Early detection technology Shake the alarm, created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), is an EEW platform currently used by the U.S. on the West Coast (i.e., California, Oregon, and Washington). SASMEX started operations in 1993 and its price is also high.

Where will open source volunteers participate in the project? According to Pedro Cruz, an IBM developer, “anyone in the open source community can be involved in and help OpenEEW, not only in Puerto Rico, but anywhere in the world.”

Cruz says that “different communities around the world can help by promoting different components (sensors, algorithms, alarm devices) and deploying sensor networks in different countries.”

Like TechRepublic in the past reported“[u]Unlike national seismic platforms, the group’s open source EEW project is designed to create a global partnership rather than a nationalized network, allowing people around the world to deploy these systems in their communities as part of a larger sensor humanitarian patchwork. ”

OpenEEW was born out of the Call for Code initiative, which provides solutions using technology that can be deployed in communities with the greatest needs and making changes.

“Since 2018, this business,” Cruz said, “has grown to more than 400,000 participants in 179 countries, and developers have already created more than 15,000 applications using IBM technologies.”

The Call for Code was started by global director David Clark Cause, the founder of IBM.

In a press release, Grillo and IBM say their device identification code can use the help of volunteer programmers and will be developed in Python and pushed out of Kubernetes. In addition, Grillo says it is currently working on a “Carbon / React Dashboard” whose audience can see and interact with OpenEEW as well as see recent earthquakes.

Meira says “there are also individual citizen researchers who install their own OpenEEW sensors and connect to our global system in the cloud.” He adds that they hope that “eventually a sufficient density of these stations” will emerge so that “global EEW will emerge.”

In OpenEEW website, explains how to use sensors, implement earthquake detectors, and send alerts for possible situations.

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