PORTLAND -- Portland's mayor unveiled a new feature on the city's Web site Monday, to get information out to residents as fast as possible, should there be an earthquake felt in the Metro area.

The press conference was part of Earthquake Preparedness Week, which just happened to fall the day after a large earthquake shook Mexico, California and neighboring states.

Mayor Sam Adams demonstrated a new tool which sends automatic alerts to cell phones. He said it's easy to sign up online for the alerts, and then demonstrated how to do it with his own cell phone.

The new tool was launched on the city's Public Alerts Web site Monday morning and all people need to do is go online and sign up if they want to get the alerts. Adams assured that users' information will be kept private and he said people can also un-register if they decide they want to take their name off the alert list.

A Portland State University professor noted that there have been several strong earthquakes just four months into 2010. However, Scott Burns said that nothing is out of the ordinary, yet, and that there are usually 10 or so strong earthquakes each year.

It still gives Oregonians good reminder to be prepared, he added.

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