Feeds

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

Social networks could be used to trigger call-outs

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.