MMDA and Firechat partner for #MMShakeDrill
MANILA, Philippines - The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Open Garden Inc announced their partnership for deploying FireChat’s pioneering, disaster-proof technology during the Metro Manila Shake Drill on June 22, 2016.
Launched in May 2016 at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit, FireChat Alerts leverages the FireChat network for disaster preparedness. It allows select organizations, media, and civil society groups to share critical information and advisories, even in the absence of cell networks.
Alerts are transmitted directly from one smartphone to the next, and reach people who would otherwise be unreachable because networks are not available, or because they do not have prepaid load credits.
The MMDA will be conducting the Shake Drill with the participation of various groups including schools, religious organizations, and the private sector.
The objective of the Metro Manila Shake Drill is to challenge and improve the disaster preparedness and response abilities of every group and individual if the “Big One” - a major earthquake - hits Metro Manila. (READ: FAQs: What's the #MMShakeDrill and how can you prepare?)
The Shake Drill simulates an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude along the West Valley Fault System that traverses the metropolis. In this scenario, traditional communication networks will be rapidly congested and physical infrastructure may get severely damaged, complicating rescue operations and making the dissemination of critical information extremely challenging.
Communications are critical
"It’s a scientific reality that a major earthquake could hit Metro Manila and its 22 million inhabitants at any moment. In the event of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake coming from the West (Valley Fault), there would be at least 35,000 casualties and 100,000 people injured,” said Chairman Emerson Carlos of the MMDA, who is also Chairman of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
“We are very interested in exploring how FireChat Alerts can help maintain vital communication lines between the MMDA and the citizens of Metro Manila during an event of this scale. Deploying this technology during a preparedness drill is the perfect way to understand its potential," said Carlos.
“It is often said that information in times of disaster is as important as food and shelter,” said Marina Azcarate, Head of Global Marketing at Open Garden.
“It is a great honor to be working with the MMDA in a cross-sector effort to increase preparedness by rolling out a new technology that could help save many lives.”
To maximize the coverage and efficiency of the peer-to-peer network, the MMDA encourages all citizens, including local government officials, volunteers, and private sector partners, to download FireChat, a free messaging app, on their Android or iOS smartphone. FireChat is available for free at: http://firech.at/MMShakeDrill- Rappler.com
Learn more about the #MMShakeDrill by clicking the button below: