Here’s a smartphone feature that would draw a lot of interest in Seattle (And maybe in the Washington, D.C. area, given Tuesday’s rare earthquake there): Apple’s iOS 5 will come with an option to allow users in Japan to choose to receive earthquake alerts.
The Telegraph of London reports that Apple can add the option in Japan because of that nation’s online earthquake warning system launched in 2007. The system delivers text alerts and also provides up to a two minute warning before an earthquake strikes to give people time to evacuate a building.
Meanwhile, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shook things up this morning about 90 miles away in Washington, D.C. (I first heard about it from a D.C. friend on Facebook. He beat any news organization in reporting the event).
It was the largest recorded earthquake ever in that region, which is not known for earthquakes.