Earthquake affecting Nepal

As many of you will be aware a substantial earthquake struck Nepal at 06:11 UTC today 25 April 2015. This earthquake is expected to have a high humanitarian impact based on the magnitude and the affected population and their vulnerability.

Likelihood of activation

We are highly likely to be activated very soon

Please keep an eye on your emails, the Ning, Facebook and the main Skype chat.

We’ll keep you informed as the situation develops.

Sign up now

We will be asking for volunteers to join an advance team and get everything ready. If you’d like to be part of that, please use the same sign up link and tick the advance team box.

This link is only available to SBTF members.

The role of Standby Task Force

The Standby Task Force has not yet been activated.

We are in contact with key responding agencies. And we are preparing on the assumption that we will be activated

We are very aware that this comes close on the heels of two verys substantial deployments. That said, responding rapidly to humanitarian crises is what we are here for. We know you will want to apply your unique skills and capability to help the people of Nepal.

One month supporting humanitarian agencies in Vanuatu

Well over 100 volunteers from across the globe dedicated their time and skills online over the past month to support the humanitarian response in Vanuatu.

One month ago a category 5 storm swept across many of the islands that make up Vanuatu affecting 166,600 people.

Activation one

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs requested help through the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN). Standby Task Force undertook two of the three tasks requested of the DHN.

Standby Task Force volunteers created a database of information needed by humanitarian aid workers based in or arriving in Vanuatu. The database contained contact details for international staff actually in Vanuatu, assessments undertaken by humanitarian agencies, relevant maps, details of which agencies across the globe said they were responding and what they were doing. Within five days the database contained over 5,000 separate pieces of information. Simon Johnson from British Red Cross created this tool which is based on some of the data in the Stadby Task Force database.

Graph to the left and a map to the right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standby Task Force volunteers also searched for tweets about the storm. They identified pictures and videos of damage and flooding. Then they verified, categorised and mapped the images.

The resulting maps can be seen online here: http://arcg.is/197hIK9 and here: http://arcg.is/1MyUhbC

Map of damage photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Standby Task Force stood down at 2200 UTC on Mar 22 2015.

Activation Two

We were then activated again on April 5 2015 by the Government of Vanuatu and the World Bank via the DHN. Our task on this occasion was to examine photographs taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that had flown over many of Vanuatu’s affected islands. Volunteers traced the outlines of damaged properties and logged the degree of damage. We used the MicroMappers platform which ensures that each picture was assessed by at least three different volunteers. Micromappers is developed by QCRI qcri.com

Over 2,500 different images were assessed in this way. Volunteers identified and traced 1,696 destroyed houses, 1,298 partially damaged houses and 3,967 houses with little-to-no damage (note: these figures do not correspond to unique houses). The platform ensures that each picture is seen by at least three people so volunteers actually traced 7,500 images. This was the first time UAV tech was used for crowdsourced assessment and verification. Patrick Meier has written more about this on his blog.

The resulting maps can be seen here: http://maps.micromappers.org/2015/pam/aerial/#close

The Standby Task Force stood down at 0900 UTC on April 14 2015.

Vanuatu still needs help

The people of Vanuatu still need support from the global community. Standby Task Force volunteers have helped to strengthen and improve the humanitarian response.

The UN estimates that US$29.9m is required immediately and has launched a flash appeal.

We are a global network of digital humanitarians ready to respond at short notice to support humanitarian agencies on the ground in disaster zones to process open source data and create crisis maps and databases.

Update #5 on Vanuatu (second deployment)

The situation at 1500 UTC April 11 2015

What a weekend.

On the one hand loads of volunteers are taking part in our “polygon-a-thon” (that’s what Joyce calls it) to help the government of Vanuatu and the World Bank get a handle on housing damage across the islands.

You can see the results of all your efforts on this map http://maps.micromappers.org/2015/pam/aerial/#close

And at the same time loads more volunteers (and in some cases the same volunteers) are helping CODE with election monitoring in Nigeria. Not an official activation but so many of you have responded to the request for volunteers.

There is still more to do

The MicroMappers are making good progress but they still need plenty of help. Don’t forget this is a really simple deployment, you don’t need lots of experience or training and any time you can give, even just five minutes, will make a real difference.

There is more information (for SBTF members only I’m afraid) on the Ning.

Vanuatu a month after Cyclone Pam

It is nearly a month since Cyclone Pam, a category five storm swept across the islands of Vanuatu.

We know, because we built the initial resource collecting data about which agencies were responding, that a huge range of organisations have responded to the situation in Vanuatu.

Many of those organisations have been reporting on their efforts on their blogs and news sites. Unicef and the Red Cross have been working to get assistance to remote and small communities.

While the Disaster Arborist Response Team sent tree surgeons

http://www.dartinternational.co.uk/deployment-news/

Over on the Humans of Vanuatu Facebook page there is a more personal view of how the situation is progressing.

Like this update from a couple of days ago

“Forgive the nostalgia, but I can’t help feeling sadness when I think about how green my islands used to be. I know it’s coming back, but I confess that I still feel actual distress when I see the landscape today.”

https://www.facebook.com/HumansOfVanuatu

Update #4 final push for micromappers for Vanuatu (second deployment)

This is an update on our current activation to undertake housing damage assessments in Vanuatu.

The situation at 1700 UTC 10 April 2015

One final push now.

Thank you so much for all your hard work so far.

You can see the results of all your efforts on this map.

Take a good look at that map.

You did that.

It’s a real improvement to the information picture for the Vanuatu government and other agencies and it’s all down to you.

There is still more to do

We still have more images to process and so we are going to keep the deployment open until we’ve managed to process all the data.

Please do help out if you have a chance. You can get through a surprising number of images in just five minutes and you can make all the difference.

Don’t forget, we’ll be moving into the images of the worst hit islands so viewing might be tough.

Sign up now

Sign up details are on our Ning (only for SBTF network members)

A reminder on our task

We were activated 5 April 2015 at the request of the World Bank and the government of Vanuatu.

Our task is to use the MicroMappers platform to analyse images taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

The deployment will last until the final images have been processed. We are confident that, with a final push from everyone, that will be this weekend.

Don’t forget Nigeria

There are elections in Nigeria this weekend for governors and to the state house of assembly.

The presidential elections (held on March 28 2015) seem to have gone well as reported by, for example, The Economist.

We have not formally activated the Standby Task Force but many SBTF volunteers supported CODE with election monitoring for the presidential elections.

SBTF volunteers focused on geolocation and categorization of observer- and citizen reports to CODE’s Ushahidi instance.

There has been a request for volunteers to support CODE in the same way over this coming weekend.

If you would like to join, sign up details are on the Ning.

 

Update #3 on Vanuatu (second deployment)

This is an update on our current activation to undertake housing damage assessments in Vanuatu.

The situation at 1400 UTC 9 April 2015

We have more images!

After a rather frustrating wait for new images to be uploaded (not complaining, this is brand new stuff) a new batch was uploaded at 1400 UTC yesterday. Plenty of people have already been clicking and there are plenty more images to be processed.

At time of writing 62% of the latest batch have been processed. Good job everyone.

So far 100 volunteers have processed over 1000 images. We’ve drawn 1200 blue polygons, 500 orange polygons and 800 red polygons.

When 80% have been processed, the next batch will be added.

We were activated 5 April 2015 at the request of the World Bank and the government of Vanuatu.

The deployment has been extended until Friday 10 April.

Our task is to use the MicroMappers platform to analyse images taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

We shared with you this http://simonbjohnson.github.io/cyclone-pam-SBTF-3w/ which Simon Johnson from British Red Cross has put together to show who is doing what, where in Vanuatu. This has recently been updated with more data collected by SBTF volunteers.

Update #2 on Vanuatu (second deployment)

This is an update on our current activation to undertake housing damage assessments in Vanuatu.

The situation at 0700 UTC 8 April 2015

The situation hasn’t changed much since the last update. It’s a challenge to get the images out of Vanuatu and converted into the appropriate format. We’re still waiting for the next batch. As soon as we have more images, we’ll let you know.

This really is cutting edge stuff so we know you’ll bear with us through these technical challenges.

We were activated 5 April 2015 at the request of the World Bank and the government of Vanuatu.

The deployment was originally expected to end today, Wednesday, but we now expect it to be extended until Friday 10 April.

Our task is to use the MicroMappers platform to analyse images taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

If you haven’t seen it, you might be interested in Patrick Meier’s recent write up of the digital humanitarian response for Vanuatu http://irevolution.net/2015/04/07/digital-jedis-cyclone-pam/

Update #1 on Vanuatu (second deployment) and call for volunteers

This is an update on our current activation to undertake housing damage assessments in Vanuatu.

The situation at 1900 UTC 6 April 2015

We were activated yesterday 5 April 2015 at the request of the World Bank and the government of Vanuatu.

Our task is to use the MicroMappers platform to analyse images taken from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

We aren’t able to publicly confirm figures yet but the initial response has been really impressive.

Images are uploaded in batches. Once all the images in one batch have been processed, there is a delay before the next batch is uploaded. We know this can be frustrating but we hope you understand.

Sign up now

There is still a need for more volunteers. All you need to do is to sign up at MicroMappers http://micromappers.org/

Keep in touch

Volunteers who were part of the first Vanuatu deployment have been using that chat room to keep in touch during this deployment.

If you’d like to be added to that chat just ask in the general chat room or contact one of the leads for this deployment.

  • Justine Mackinnon – justine@standbytaskforce.com  Skype: fidget01
  • Joyce Monsees – joyce@standbytaskforce.com  Skype: joyce.monsees
  • Peter Monsur – peter@standbytaskforce.com  Skype: pjmosur
  • Stuart Costello – stuart@standbytaskforce.com, Skype: stuart.costello5
  • Ben Proctor – ben@standbytaskforce.com, Skype: likeaword

Situation in Vanuatu

Towards the end of March, UN-OCHA issued a Flash Appeal asking donors $29.9m. 166,600 people have been affected, 75,000 people are in need of shelter and 110,000 people are without access to clean drinking water. http://reliefweb.int/report/vanuatu/flash-appeal-emergency-response-plan-vanuatu-tropical-cyclone-pam-march-june-2015

The humanitarian response has geared up significantly since our first deployment, Simon B Johnson from the British Red Cross built this handy interactive tool to show who is responding and what they are focused on. http://simonbjohnson.github.io/cyclone-pam-3w/