Feeds

Japan to trial emergency 'calls' by Twitter in disaster zones

Social networks could be used to trigger call-outs

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Japanese authorities will soon trial a new warning system that would allow imperiled members of the public to contact the emergency services by sending messages on social networking sites like Twitter.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said it will test the system this (northern) summer, Kyodo reported.

The disaster simulation will try to recreate the situation of two years past when stricken survivors of the massive earthquake and tsunami which hit north-east Japan were unable to call Japan's 119 emergency number as phone services were completely down in affected areas.

In the upcoming test, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency will field emergency messages sent on Twitter, domestic social network "mixi" and other sites before radioing the info to the appropriate emergency service.

The agency is also planning to sit down with social networking sites to design a systematic way of pulling out the relevant details on emergency help requests including address and health status, whilst avoiding duplicates, Kyodo said.

Plans are also afoot to work out how to avoid hoax emergency requests.

Power cuts and damage to telecommunications networks meant that around quarter of fire departments in the affected areas hit by the ‘quake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear blast in 2011 were unable to receive 119 calls, the report said.

Mobile network operators in Japan are also doing their bit to help. Softbank has been trialling a balloon-based floating 3G base station designed to spring into action if mobile towers are damaged by a natural disaster.

Last week the firm tested a more resilient version using a satellite signal in case the cellular infrastructure the base truck is trying to connect to is too badly damaged. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.