Introduction

Earthquakes killed 767,046 people between 2000 and 2010, and almost a third of the world's population live in seismically-active regions.

An earthquake early-warning (EEW) system sends real-time alerts to people before the shaking arrives. However only several governments have attempted to build EEWs due to the incredibly high-cost of traditional seismometers, dedicated telecommunications, and bespoke software.

Grillo instead has proven that an IoT-based approach to EEW systems is not only within the reach of many global citizens, but performs as well if not better than government-run systems. By standardizing a mix of off-the-shelf components, software and know-how, it will be possible to facilitate the creation of new community EEWs around the world.

Since 2017, the Grillo Team has developed and deployed IoT-based systems in Mexico and Chile, and has been issuing public alerts via Twitter, a mobile app, and an alarm device. In 2019 we did a comparison of our solution against the first public EEW in the world, Mexico's SASMEX, which has been developed for decades at a huge cost. The results speak for themselves.

We are very proud of what we have achieved so far, but we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible. In today's world of IoT, cloud computing and machine learning, the development of EEW systems can benefit from the expertise of people from non-traditional backgrounds.

For this reason we have decided to launch OpenEEW, an initiative to share our data, sensor technology and detection algorithms, as a Code and Response™ with The Linux Foundation project. Not only will this enable others around the world to start building their own EEW systems based on our approach, it will also, we hope, lead to the creation of a global community collaborating to develop ever-better EEW systems, always with the end goal of providing life-saving alerts and increasing resilience against earthquakes.

We have created a welcoming community here. Join Slack, play with our code on GitHub, order or build a sensor, and help put effective EEWs within the reach of everyone.

Andres Meira, CEO of Grillo (a founding member of OpenEEW)