On September 24 a 7.7M Earthquake struck the Balochista region of Pakistan. Humanity Road volunteers deployed to monitoring media and released our situation report here. On September 25th, the Digital Humanitarian Network received a request from United Nationals Office of for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) The activation was a rapid response request for information on damages, needs and relief. Humanity Road was selected as a solution partner to support the collection of relief reports for agencies and NGO’s responding to the Baluchistan Pakistan earthquake. We deployed for the 48 hour project and supported it with a split approach, we focused on the collection of relief response and we collaborated to support the Standby Volunteer Task Force(SBTF) damage assessment by collecting and first posting our data into twitter. The data was submitted using two hashtags to leverage manpower for both goals. This enabled the SBTF to pull all identified data for their assessments. The hashtag #ReliefPK was used for any reports regarding relief responses and the public engaged by supporting the tag and sharing reports. A few hours into the project we added a second tag for #SitPK which indicated the report contained information relevant for other assessments such as damage reports, needs or images. On day one of the deployment we focused on collecting and tagging reports and day two was focused three tasks; de-duplicating records, populating the content in the spreadsheet and researching focal point information for deployed NGO’s. A cross mix of aid information was identified and collected from both ground and airdropped food packages to non-food items, including tents, blankets, jerry cans, medicines, paramedics, doctors, and ambulances. Aid responses were recorded for military and non-military response.
NGO’s deploying with relief for Pakistan include Pakistan Red Cross, ShelterBox UK, Khidmat-E-Khalq Foundation (KKF), Direct Relief, Helping Hand USA, and Pakistan Youth Alliance. During the processing we identified over 50,000 twitter reports with subject matter about Pakistan earthquake, which included retweets however only 80 carrying the #ReliefPK hashtag at the time of the report. In closing, data mining in traditional, mainstream and social media returned a total of only eight NGO’s recorded thusfar, and two air transports enroute from China.
Digital volunteers can help rapidly filter through large pieces of information. Through the use of technology (TweetTracker and a filtering tool we are testing) and an organized approach an eight member response team completed this activation. Volunteers active for this event included Paras, Cindy, Christoph, Alice, Bettie, Gerald, Chris, and Cat.