Vanuatu - The IT that coordinates emergency response at Telecoms Sans Frontiere

Today I was in the head office of Telecoms Sans Frontiere in Pau, France, which provides emergency telecommunications if there is a major disaster where communication links are severed.

TSF’s role is to setup satellite communications to allow aid workers to coordinate relief efforts and allow people affected by a disaster to make phone calles, via satellite phones, to tell loved ones and friends if they are okay and whether they need money, food, clothes etc.

At 15:33 Central European Time, officials at TSF received an alert from the Global Disaster Alert Coordination System (GDAC), a system which sends out text message alerts to alert people of a disaster.

I took the following photgoraphs as news came in of a major earthquake in Vanuatu, South Pacific Ocean, an archipelago of islands located some 1,750 km east of Australia:

Jean Francois Cazenave, founding president of Telecoms Sans Frontiere receives the text message giving notice of a major earthquake in Vanuatu,

Jean_Francois_receives_alert2.JPG

The alert shows that Vanuatu has experienced a major earthquake – 7.6 on the Richter scale and there is a high probability of a Tsunami, which could affect populated areas in the region.

Earthquake_alert2.JPG

Cazenave checks the web and coordinates with his Bangkok office to decide whether Vanuatu will need emergency satellite communications from Telecoms Sans Frontiere.

Jean_Francois_checks_web2.JPG

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