Amid the worst of the monsoon rains in Greece and Turkey, it is not uncommon for people to wake up at 6:00am, rush to work, and then, when it gets dark, drive to their homes to get prepared for the coming quake.
This is what many Greeks and Turks have experienced, and how they are taking the emergency response to the next level with a new app that helps them monitor the tremors and alert authorities.
In 2018, Greece recorded its largest earthquake since the 2011 event that killed more than 70,000 people in Turkey.
This year, the country recorded its second largest earthquake, as well as a 6.1 magnitude quake in Turkey, causing major damage and widespread evacuations.
Since the onset of the 2018 earthquake, the Greek government has installed more than 200 seismometers, and more than a thousand emergency alert systems.
“Our people are going through a lot,” said Trita Dangari, who is a member of the local council in the northern Greek town of Varsat, where the earthquake struck.
“They’re getting scared.”
The app, named Emergency Alert, is being used in Greece by people who are also emergency responders, such as firemen and policemen.
It is designed to be accessed by people in different communities who are working together to protect their homes, businesses and infrastructure.
The app is designed with a clear and simple interface.
Users can enter the number of the earthquake they are currently monitoring and then select a region and the region they are in.
The area of the screen they are looking at is the location of the quakes epicentre.
The map will then show the earthquake in the region, along with the number and magnitude of the quake, and the time since the quake.
Users also can check for a specific location on the map to see if there are any seismic alerts or emergency warnings for that location.
The earthquake alerts will appear on the app in a dark blue font, with a white circle around the number to indicate if there is an alert for that area.
“It will be a really helpful app,” said Sava Tzavaras, a 27-year-old Greek taxi driver.
Tzovaras works at the airport and was preparing for a day trip home when he got an email about a potential earthquake.
“When I saw the map, I said, ‘This is really helpful.
We need to check out the region,'” he said.
“We drove to a town close to the epicentres.
And I got a text from my wife that she had an earthquake alert.”
The local mayor told the couple to drive to Varsate and check out what they would see.
The alert from the Greek Ministry of Emergency Management was about three kilometres away from their home, and TzAvaras’ wife saw the same alert about a kilometre away.
The couple got out of their car and called their family.
They were then given the coordinates of the nearest city, Athens, to check it out.
The first time the app was used, there was only one user.
“A few months ago, we had two users and now there are more than four,” Tzravas said.
A couple of days after the earthquake, Tzvarnas said, she received a text alert from Greece’s emergency services saying that there were a number of earthquakes around Varsati and the area was under evacuation orders.
“And then I was shocked,” Tvarnassas said of the app.
“I didn’t know how to react.
I didn’t feel any fear, because I knew everything was going to be okay.”
The second time the emergency alert app was launched in March, the city of Varshavas was evacuated, and it was the first time a quake had been felt in the area.
Tvarsati was one of the first towns to receive an emergency alert.
“There were no tremors, and we felt no danger,” Tovarsati resident Svetlana Bouda, 23, told The Jerusalem Times.
“People in the neighborhood were just sitting and drinking beer.”
The earthquake in Varshava is now felt in many other towns across Greece, including Varsanti, a town of around 70,00 people, where around 80,000 homes were destroyed in 2018.
Bouds family is still coping with the loss of its home and has not returned to it.
“Everyone is just shocked, and nobody is getting up,” Boudas said about the new earthquake.
Bounkhe Mihalik, an engineer, works in a factory in the town of Yeriot, where a quake struck in May 2018.
“The factory was destroyed, but we are still rebuilding,” Mihals said.
Mihs family moved to the factory in 2019 after he heard the tremor.
“My wife, who was a nurse, and I went