Earlier this week, the Visayas region of Cebu in the Philippines was hit by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that affected thousands of families and their homes. It damaged roads, and brought down lots of buildings, including a number of historical landmarks.
Following this, a number of organizations reached out to help. Google is helping out through its online resources. It has created a crowdsourced map showing relevant and timely information around the affected areas. It includes roads that are not passable, landslide-hit areas, ruined buildings, and evacuation centers.
Volunteers from the Google Developers Group (GDG) and Google Business Group (GBG) are moving across these provinces to find affected areas in order to update the map. The map is updated once new information has been sourced from the affected areas.
The map makes it easier for volunteers and other organizations to know which routes they can take, and where to find evacuation centers that need aid and relief goods. Google’s disaster map has already gained more than 30,000 views.
Keeping up to speed via Twitter
Apart from Google’s effort, a number of organizations are also helping out. The Philippine Red Cross has a designated team in the area, and in addition the organization has been disseminating information via Twitter since the earthquake struck.
The Cebu earthquake has caused the kind of devastation not seen in years in the Philippines. People still need help, and a number of individuals are using the #earthquakePH and #ReliefPH hashtags on Twitter to crowdsource further information.
(Editing by Steven Millward)