Super typhoon Yolanda is possibly the world’s biggest storm ever, and it landed in the Philippines this morning. TV broadcasts are full of advice and warnings, but the internet is yet again where many people are turning for help.
Google, as it often does in times of disaster, has already prepared a crowdsourced crisis response map for Filipinos wanting to track Yolanda and the devastation it has caused already. The map shows the landslide and flood-prone areas in the country. It also includes information on evacuation centers, hospitals, and command posts nearby the affected areas.
The map can also help organizations who want to provide relief goods to affected citizens. The information on the map is a joint collaboration between various Google volunteers spread across the country and collated information from government departments.
[UPDATE: Apart from the Map, Google has also launched a person finder that helps users locate and obtain information pertaining to missing persons. The site was made especially for victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines.]
Similarly, the government’s Project NOAH, a weather and flood tracking platform, has already listed the areas that are affected by storm surges in its site.
The Philippine government’s official website also shared links to institutions providing weather announcements and infographics about safety reminders during storm surges and floods.
@GovPH, the Twitter account of the Philippine government, has also been actively tweeting and retweeting rainfall advisories and even calls for volunteers.
Hashtags for help
In addition, a number of Filipinos and organizations on Twitter are now actively reaching out. Netizens are using the #YolandaPH hashtag to share weather information, emergency numbers, and photos and videos of affected areas.
People are now really coming together online to help each other. At times of crisis, Twitter has become a way for individuals and organizations to collaborate and help their fellow citizens.
(Editing by Steven Millward)
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