"Beach ball" mobile antenna being inflated in Chautara, Nepal, image provided by the World Food Programme, 12 May 2015.
trust.org - in.reuters.com - by Joseph D'Urso - May 12, 2015
LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Buildings wrecked by Tuesday's earthquake in Nepal, already weakened by last month's huge quake which killed over 8,000, will take years to rebuild. But another type of infrastructure will bounce back much sooner: communication networks.
Enabling aid workers and civilians to access the internet, make a phone call or send a text is now seen as a vital part of any humanitarian response. The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed some innovative kit to make this possible in Nepal.
Image: Kathmandu Living Labs' earthquake site collects data about conditions and needs. Each blue dot represents the number of reports of help wanted — medical, food, water or shelter — near Kathmandu. Kathmandu Living Labs
npr.org - May 5th 2015 - David Lagesse These pleas for help in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake have popped up on ever changing maps of the disaster zone, compiled and posted by hundreds of digital volunteers around the globe. They've not been to Nepal and very likely haven't met each other, instead working together through online forums and chat rooms and posting their work to Web documents and maps.
Drone footage shot by ABC cameraman Brant Cumming in the Gorkha district shows buildings reduced to rubble by the April 25 earthquake. This video highlights the remoteness of the affected areas in Nepal and the difficulties faced by rescue personnel struggling to reach them.
submitted by George Hurlburt
theconversation.com - by Gerard Fitzgerald, Apil Gurung, and Bharat Raj Poudel - May 5, 2015
The media in Nepal has been instrumental in keeping people connected and updated about the recent magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit the country on Saturday April 25.
However, initially the quake did not create a major reaction, as small scale tremors are not uncommon in the country. The Nepalese people were also unclear about the extent of the disaster as local media struggled to react to the earthquake.
The reality of the scale of the disaster began to sink in when heartbreaking pictures of the damage started emerging. Live footage and pictures from the international media gave some insight into the extent of the devastation in the earthquake ravaged nation.
homelandsecuritynewswire.com - by Anders Sandberg - August 12, 2014
In 1962, a high-altitude Pacific nuclear test caused electrical damage 1,400 km away in Hawaii. A powerful electromagnetic pulse (EMP) – created either by a solar storm or a high-altitude nuclear explosion — poses a threat to regions dependent on electricity, as such pulses could cause outages lasting from two weeks to two years. The main problem is the availability of spare transformers. Superstorm Sandy’s worst effects were in a single location. In the case of a big EMP surge, replacement transformers would be needed in hundreds of locations at the same time. The cost of an EMP pulse to the U.S. economy would likely be in the range of $500 million to $2.6 trillion. A report by the U.S. National Academies was even more pessimistic, guessing at a higher range and a multi-year recovery. Besides disrupting electricity such storms can also destroy satellites, disrupt GPS navigation, and make other parts of the infrastructure fail.
Image: Social media and increasingly accessible smartphones help groups mobilise around the world. Photograph: Prasit Chansareekorn/Flickr Vision
theguardian.org - March 13th, 2014 - Hansdeep Singh, Jaspreet Singh and Linda Raftree
Technology has huge potential to be used for social good. Mobiles and mapping software can be used to gather data, and visualise patterns and trends; predictive analytics can be used to help translate 'big data' into useful statistics; unmanned aerial vehicles can monitor real-time crises; and social media helps mobilise groups around the world.
International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies
The World Disasters Report 2013 examines the profound impact of technological innovations on humanitarian action, how humanitarians employ technology in new and creative ways, and what risks and opportunities may emerge as a result of technological innovations.
The responsible use of technology offers concrete ways to make humanitarian assistance more effective, efficient and accountable and can, in turn, directly reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience. Finding ways for advances in technology to serve the most vulnerable is a moral imperative; a responsibility, not a choice.
Published annually since 1993, the World Disasters Report brings together the latest trends, facts and analysis of contemporary catastrophes and their effect on vulnerable populations worldwide. Initiated by the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, it convenes eminent researchers, authors and development and humanitarian aid practitioners to highlight contemporary issues on a yearly basis.
Indian villagers stand on the breached embankment of a swollen river. The widespread use of technology played a huge role in preventing a large loss of life when cyclone Phailin hit the country. Photograph: AP
Technology can greatly enhance the ability of disaster-affected communities to help themselves, says world disasters report
theguardian.com - by Mark Tran October 17, 2013
Lack of access to information and technology has a major bearing on people's ability to prepare for, survive and recover from disasters, according to the 2013 world disasters report.
While new technologies greatly enhance the ability of disaster-affected communities to help themselves, the report, published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Geneva . . . says access to technology is deeply unequal. This digital divide is prominent in the most disaster-prone countries around the world.