SISMATE: why was the alert not sounded in the last tremor at the national level?

This Thursday, May 12, a strong earthquake of 5.5 degrees shook Lima and other provinces in the afternoon.

According to data from the Geophysical Institute of Peru (PGI), the epicenter was recorded in Chilca, province of Cañete, at a depth of 49 kilometers. Fortunately, without major human damage.

However, an issue that came to the fore on social networks was the alarm SISMAT which was tested a few days ago, on May 6. Internet users demanded that the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) that explains why the system did not work, which, on that occasion, scared more than one unsuspecting person.

Why didn’t the SISMATE alert sound?

The answer of why the alert did not sound SISMAT it is because, first, it is still on trial, so its operation was only available for that period (in which it rang during two times of the day).

Second, the alerts will only be issued when the National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci) determines the probability of a disaster that they consider competent and, among those named, tsunamis, floods, landslides or landslides have been listed. Are not considered earthquakes neither tremors.

Let us also remember that SISMAT stands for Early Warning Messaging System and is not specifically related to the word earthquakes.

It should be noted that on May 31, the TCM will activate the alarm again in a new test, so the cell phones will ring loudly again. These messages will be sent to users of the four mobile phone operators with 2G, 3G and 4G technology.

And will there be an alert system in case of earthquakes?

Yes. SISMAT will be complemented by the Peruvian Seismic Alert System (SASPe) of the Geophysical Institute of Peru and the Indeci.

Hernando Tavera, director of the PGI, has pointed out that SISMAT It will only be a means of communication SASpe. “The early warning system will work with sensors. As soon as it considers that the alert is needed, it will send it by all means: loudspeakers, cell phones, radio, TV,” he told RPP News. This system will be similar to what happens in Mexico, for example.

SASPe It will allow alerting the population in the event of an earthquake equal to or greater than 6.0 Mw (Momentum Magnitude). It works through the Earthquake Hazard Monitoring and Warning Subsystem (SMAPS), managed by the IGP, and the Early Warning Dissemination and Communication Subsystem (SDCAT), managed by INDECI.

In its first stage, the SASPe will provide the service to more than 1 million 541 thousand 517 inhabitants, still leaving a considerable gap. To this end, the infrastructure will be improved in coordination with local and central governments.

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