Activation for Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) -Update

Nearly 13,000 houses were crushed and more than 22,000 damaged on the eastern island of Samar, where Typhoon Hagupit made landfall on Saturday, December 6, 2014 (http://goo.gl/i1Da6C).

Monitoring of Typhoon Hagupit and preparing AIDR to collect tweets using defined hashtags began on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. The activation in response to Typhoon Hagupit began for us on Friday December 5th, 2014.

To assist the relief work on the ground, Standby Task Force and a number of other digital organizations have engaged volunteers to collect relevant information from social media and other sources. We have had incredible support from our volunteers [veterans and newbies] and our partner organizations. Here are a few links to visit to see some of the products we have produced to date.

Standby Task Force collaborated with Rappler and Project Argos during this deployment and our volunteers have been supporting their Alert Map. This collaboration has identified another critical response partner in the work we do. SBTF  would like to thank, Zak Yuson, and his team for all their support. SBTF looks forward to working with the Rappler team in future deployments. A media article covering this collaboration is available here. Project Agos was able to document at least 260 crowdsourced data (via alert maps) on evacuation centers, cyclone path, status of media outlets (radio and TV) and ongoing relief operations.

In the past three days nearly 400 messages have been manually sourced and geolocated from Twitter. Volunteers have identified actionable information from another 60 Facebook posts, that enabled us to point relief workers to 26 roadblocks in affected areas. This information ensures that populations needing critical emergency relief are able to be reached.

Over the years SBTF has been activated by UN-OCHA on a number of occasions. We are pleased to continue to support their efforts on the ground through our quality informatics and crisis communications work. Caroline Bannock, highlighted these efforts in her report on the Guardian Online published today. This coverage can be found here.  The work of the different communities engaged in information harvest, categorization and geolocation during the last days are surely recognized.

Quote from the latest SitRep from UN OCHA:

  • “The Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) and the MicroMappers continue to provide real-time updates on the impact of the typhoon. The result can be viewed in these links: http://bit.ly/1AMM8KL and http://micromappers.org/. Hundreds of Standby Task Force Volunteers (SBTF) across the globe, as well as the Rappler team and the Project Agos volunteers in the Philippines, continue to crowdsource information via social media such as Facebook and Twitter.”

We continued testing AIDR and the MicroMappers platform, the results have been positive so far. There will be an update on their performance published on Patrick Meier’s Blog Irevolution at a later date.

Thanks again to our incredibly dedicated network of global volunteers. We have had immense support from diverse communities including engagement with many in the Philippine Diaspora and individuals on the ground. We would especially like to thank MicroMappers, Qatar Computer Research Institute (QCRI) and also GISCorps for supporting us with extra volunteers.  It has been our pleasure hosting them.

We are still accepting volunteers for this deployment which is currently scheduled to last through Wednesday, December 10th, 2014. If you have time to join, use this link to sign up.

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