New Zealand: disaster management software aims to save lives 12 January 2010Posted by admin in natural hazards, New Zealand.
Tags: Auckland, natural disasters, New Zealand, volcanic hazards
Yasir Javed, a doctoral student in the application of computer technology to disaster management at Massey University in New Zealand, was in the city of Abbottabad in his homeland of Pakistan when the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake hit, killing thousands. His current research at Massey is inspired by his experience of that disaster and its aftermath, when communication systems collapsed and thousands of people were left unable to discover whether missing relatives were alive or dead.
Javed worked in the relief effort, setting up a computer database of earthquake victims admitted to Abbottabad’s hospitals, helping survivors to trace missing family members. Now transplanted to New Zealand, he is carrying out admirable research on an integrated information management system for emergency services to use following natural disasters:
Yasir Javed’s research involves the design, implementation and evaluation of an internet-based package called Situation Aware Volcanic Eruption Reasoner (SAVER) to help emergency operations have a clear understanding of the disaster and the status of their resources in dealing with it. The package is designed to provide a common platform, giving information to emergency services about the full picture of the disaster and status of emergency resources. Mr Javed began the project after an emergency exercise last year based on the occurrence of a volcanic eruption in Auckland revealed current emergency services do not have an integrated information management system.
The initial focus on volcanic eruptions reflects the fact that Javed is based at the Albany campus of Massey University near Auckland. After his experiences in the Kashmir earthquake, he says, ‘I realised I wanted to work with technology in these disaster scenarios to save lives. ‘New Zealand is quite disaster-prone and it seemed the ideal place to do this kind of research’.
Evacuating Auckland after an eruption – Massey University press release, 6 January 2010
Auckland eruption evacuation software developed – 3 News, 6 January 2010
Software tackles Auckland evacuation – Stuff.co.nz, 6 January 2010
Logging on to beat volcanic eruption – New Zealand Herald, 7 January 2010
Global Volcanism Program: Auckland – summary information for the Auckland volcanic field (0401-02=)