Pooling of IT minds needed to help Italy’s earthquake survivors

9 Apr 2009

Following the devastating earthquake that struck Italy’s Abruzzo region during the early hours of Monday morning, Italian ICT professional volunteers have put the word out that they are looking for helpful ideas from researchers globally to find practical ways to help support victims of the earthquake.

Informatici Senza Frontiere (ISF) – an Italian non-government organisation of computer scientists and chief information officers – is hoping to find practical and effective technology tasks to help national volunteers support victims of the earthquake.

Aldo Ceccarelli, a volunteer at ISF foreign office, said that in two days, ISF has gathered advanced ideas from world experts in disaster-relief solutions.

“We can rely on their expert advice and guidelines. For the time being, we are trying to establish qualified contacts with civil protection heads directly managing and engaged in the L’Aquila operations centre.

“The target is to define and organise both a scope of intervention for emergency duration and for the next rebuilding period, when people will still suffer loss of houses and life continuity,” Ceccarelli explained.

He said that several ideas have already been garnered.

These include a mobile web unit for allowing contacts among the locals who have been left homeless and the outside world; and the setting up of web applications to assist support operations and centralise status updates.

“In the coming days, the ISF board needs to check with civil protection and working technicians to develop the best actions.

Those interested in this collaborative effort, who may be able to offer crucial assistance, can visit the ISF blog.

Italy’s renowned daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera is also supporting the ISF’s efforts via its website.

For further information, visit informaticisenzafrontiere.org.

By Carmel Doyle

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic