Tag Archive for 'emergency'

SMS and radio in the aftermath of a disaster

From the report Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in Mobile Use by NGOs

More than 5,000 people died and 1.6 million were displaced as a result of the May 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta and Central Java in Indonesia. During the days and weeks following the disaster, ordinary citizens received valuable news via text message. The text messaging service was put in place by Internews, a U.S.- based NGO that works to improve people’s access to information around the world.

The service was run through an emergency AM radio station, Radio Punokawan, established by the Indonesian Press and Broadcast Society, with support from Internews. In addition to radio broadcasts, important information was sent and received from the newsroom via text messaging. Outgoing messages warned of aftershocks and identified communities that had not yet received government assistance. More than 180 Indonesian journalists distributed and received information through the service.

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