A Philippine charity has launched an early warning system for disaster-prone areas using Blackberry devices and laptops. The gear is linked to a sms that alerts the communities to typhoons, storm surges, tsunamis, landslides and earthquakes.
The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) has launched the 200,000-dollar project which is backed by the World Bank and one of the country's leading mobile phone operators. It will cover all in Southern Leyte province in the central Visayas region, which lies along a fault line and is also often battered by powerful typhoons.
The project's web-based information system enables officials from the towns to use BlackBerries and laptops to access and quickly spread alerts or store surveillance data. The country sits on the Pacific's earthquake and volcano belt, and is battered by an average of 20 typhoons a year.