Online help in emergencies

18 april, 2011

The 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi took its toll on nature and the people living around it. A total of 277 people died, and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced to refugee camps. The pyroclastic flows and volcanic ash destroyed at least 3,509 hectares on the slopes of the volcano.

The Jaringan Informasi Lingkar Merapi (JALIN Merapi) is the Information Network Around Merapi. JALIN Merapi was founded and initiated by three community radio stations after the 2006 eruption of the volcano. Volunteers working in the field could update the situation using radio, phone, short message service (SMS), twitter, facebook and instant messenger. 

People’s needs

The information was integrated into the JALIN Merapi’s website, so that it could be accessed by many people. The website was visited by 4,200 visitors per day on average. The needs of the refugees could easily be communicated to aid organisations. Donors who gave aid in the form of money and goods could send everything via JALIN Merapi. The supply and distribution of the aid could also be accessed online.

Thousands of messages

On 25 October 2010 the account @jalinmerapi was created. The number of followers kept increasing as the condition of Mount Merapi deteriorated. Thanks to the already existing infrastructure, aid in the form of food and logistics was quickly and readily available when the largest eruption occurred on 5 November 2010. JALIN Merapi also manages 5 groups on Facebook with 240 – 250 members in each group. The followers of @jalinmerapi and members of the Jalin Merapi Group are volunteers of JALIN Merapi, government officials and common people. Thousands of messages have passed through all these media.

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