A recent paper has been published on how Kiwis perceived and reacted to earthquake early warning (EEW) alerts sent out by the Android Earthquake Alerts System in Aotearoa New Zealand. The work led by Dr Lauren Vinnell entitled 'Knowledge, perceptions, and behavioral responses to earthquake early warning in Aotearoa New Zealand' has been published with Frontiers in Communication.
The study presents results from surveys conducted following two earthquake events in 2021, where the New Zealand public widely received alerts from the Android Earthquake Alerts System. The study has a total sample size of 3,150.
Results from the surveys showed that most participants who received the alert found it useful. However, knowledge of EEW generally and the Android System specifically was low, and few participants used the time to protect themselves from shaking.
This study shows promise for EEW in Aotearoa New Zealand, given the high number of public finding it useful. However, it also reiterates the importance of education and communication around a warning system so that the public would know how to act when they receive an alert. Further research and coordination are needed for a public EEW system.