Red Cross: Lives are saved thanks to mobile phones
by FFE PH News staff
According to a report by the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), countries like the Philippines and Indonesia are successfully tapping modern communications technology to spread information regarding disasters.
In IFRC’s World Disasters Report, victims of disasters dropped worldwide in 2012. IFRC secretary general Bekele Geleta lauded the widespread use of Twitter as a means to broadcast disaster-relief efforts when Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines in 2012.
‘Thousands of lives were saved because 99% of the population have access to a mobile phone and could receive early warnings and information on staying safe.’
However, the IFRC report mentioned that there are still areas in the world that need to be equipped with the latest communication technologies and warning systems to lessen the impact of disasters. Those who don’t have access to modern communications technology end up deprived of information and are more vulnerable to disasters.
Patrick Vinck, editor of the World Disasters Report, said ‘Although the overall number of people affected by disasters decreased in 2012, the number of people affected in the poorest countries increased, with over 31.7 million affected.
‘They are also often the ones with the least access to technology.’
The report also reminds us that technology can never replace the human touch needed in times of calamities.