Eyewitnesses as the most representative category of LastQuake app users


According to data collected in January 2017, LastQuake is used in 191 countries around the world, even in regions with low seismic risk. While the EMSC (Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre) information tools can use geolocation and IP addresses to locate users, EMSC does not have any information regarding, for example, gender, age, etc. of their users. Nevertheless, thanks to two different surveys, EMSC was able to identify three types of users: (1) scientists and people interested in earthquakes, (2) eyewitnesses and people living or traveling in seismic regions, and (3) people whose relatives live in seismic regions. Eyewitnesses are the most reactive LastQuake users and are at the core of the system. They generally adopt the app because of familiarity and trust. While people who use EMSC information service for the first time tend to find it via the web, people quickly adopt the app, regardless of location. A series of 15 earthquakes felt in the city of Skopje (FYRO Macedonia) illustrates this well. The proportion of eyewitnesses using the LastQuake app jumps from 40% for the first shock on 11 September to 70% or more for earthquakes occurring from 12 September onwards, illustrating the rapid adoption of the app by the local population (see Figure 2.4 - as shown in source document). On 4 October, 572 testimonies (i.e. 2/3 of the total) were collected within 10 minutes of the M3.1 earthquake. Installations of LastQuake app in the area started within a dozen minutes of the first earthquake and rapidly reached 3 000 in the first 36 hours and about 14 000 during the studied period (11 September to 6 October 2016).

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