Social networks and the web offer a lifeline in Haiti (BBC News)

wings

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Social networks and the web offer a lifeline in Haiti

The collapse of traditional channels of communication in Haiti has again highlighted the role of social media and the internet in disasters.

Twitter is being used as a prime channel for communications, while sites such as Ushahidi are providing maps detailing aid and damage.

Both Google and Facebook are producing missing persons lists.

Satellite networks are also diverting resources to provide communications to aid agencies and the military.

The very first images to escape from the region after Tuesday's earthquake came from citizens, capturing video with mobile phones.

But landlines near the epicentre have been wiped out, and mobile phone service has been at best intermittent - a fact that has already hampered rescue efforts.

The UN body Telecoms Sans Frontieres, which maintains a network of telecommunications engineers and mobile equipment worldwide, has deployed two teams in the region. The World Food Programme operates a similar service .

"When we arrive in the country, we establish a telecoms centre for the humanitarian community, for them to be able to communicate and have access to internet and phone," said Telecoms Sans Frontiere's Catherine Sang.

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Video and full article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8461240.stm
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


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I am starting to run - literally, run - every time an aftershock hits. Seen far too many bodies. Don't wanna add to that number 
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Destruction at epicentre of Haiti quake is extreme

First reports from the epicentre of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti suggest the damage is even more dramatic than in the capital, BBC correspondents say.

They say the scene in Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince, is "apocalyptic", with thousands left homeless and almost every building destroyed.

In the capital, survivors have become desperate as they wait for aid being handed out by international agencies.

But in a sign of hope, rescuers pulled a woman alive from rubble on Sunday.

"It's a little miracle," the woman's husband, Reinhard Riedl, told the Associated Press news agency after she was rescued from a luxury hotel.

The UN says up to 80-90% of buildings in Leogane, about 19km (12 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, have been destroyed.

The BBC's Mark Doyle - who travelled to the town on Saturday - said people had taken refuge in the surrounding sugarcane fields or mangrove swamps.

One survivor said he had come to Haiti from America for his mother's funeral, only for his wife to be killed in the earthquake. He said that so far people in the area had received no help of any kind.

"We don't have any aid, nothing at all," he said. "No food, no water, no medical, no doctors."

David Orr, a spokesman for the UN World Food Programme, said many thousands were feared dead.

"Nearly every house was destroyed here. The military are talking about 20,000 to 30,000 dead."

Many survivors have been leaving quake-hit areas in search of food, water and medicine.

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Full article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8463938.stm
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


 

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