Search for HOT projects, news, people and jobs.
News — 04 November, 2020

Disaster Response Update: October & November 2020

Through the Activation Working Group and the Disaster Services Team, HOT has been responding to disasters around the world. Here's what you can do to help.

The last few weeks have been especially challenging given the high number of disasters occurring around the globe. The Activation Working Group and the Disaster Services Team have been active in monitoring, supporting, and/or activating for six major events; below is a brief update on these:

  • Typhoon Molave hit the Philippines October 24-25, where the local community was already engaged, and the DST was not needed there. However, Molave was not done, and as it reached Southern Asia on Oct. 28, heavy rains, widespread flooding, and landslides began to impact Vietnam and Laos. We are managing the projects for the OSM Vietnam community while we train them to manage the projects on their own. You can search for projects related to Typhoon Molave on the Tasking Manager.
  • Hurricane Zeta took an almost identical path as Hurricane Delta a few weeks before, crossing Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on October 27 before making a second landfall along the Gulf Coast of the United States on Oct. 28. While being part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Crowdsourcing Unit, we stood by, and ultimately Hurricane Zeta did not require a response from us.
  • A fairly shallow, 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in the Aegean Sea on Friday, October 30. Impacting both Greece and Turkey. In nearby Izmir, Turkey, the damage was the worst, causing several casualties and around two dozen buildings to collapse. Our partners in Turkey, Yer Çizenler, jumped into action and quickly launched projects covering the affected areas. On Saturday, October 31, the team was in the field collecting data. We continue to support their efforts. You can find projects related to the Aegean Sea earthquake on the Tasking Manager.
  • Super Typhoon Rolly (local name in the Philippines, International name Goni) barrelled into the eastern Philippines with over 300 kilometers per hour winds, causing major damage from October 31 to November 1st. It is now on its way to Vietnam, where they’re still reeling from Typhoon Molave. In the Philippines, the local community quickly stood up projects to map the most affected areas. You can find those projects on the Tasking Manager.
  • We are now evaluating the impact of Hurricane Eta, which made landfall in Nicaragua on November 3 as a category 4 Hurricane. Storm surges and flooding have occurred along the coast, and we have begun to pinpoint the areas affected. As we work to establish contact with the local community and identify where mapping needs are the greatest, we continue to monitor the storm as it moves into Honduras.
  • Not to be forgotten, the team that has been dedicated to mapping to help the global fight against COVID-19 has been hard at work since March 25, making it 225 days since we activated. HOT has managed 323 projects, with about 100 others managed by the community, and we’ve taken part in many meetings to keep the effort in motion. You can find mapping projects for the Coronavirus response here.

Besides mapping, here are some other ways you can support:

  • If you are an experienced OpenStreetMap contributor, please visit our validator application page and sign up to become a Validator to help us ensure high-quality data is delivered to responders and aid agencies
  • Spread the word, such as on Social Media or directly to friends and family. Tell them about OpenStreetMap, the Tasking Manager, the MapSwipe app, and all of your favorite ways and reasons you participate. You can also take it one step further and host a mapathon! Mapathons are especially encouraged during GeoWeek, November 15-21. Don’t forget to register your event!
  • Last, if you’re over-the-top dedicated like we are and want to be a part of the Disaster Services Team (DST), you can start by attending meetings of the Activation Working Group. Ask how in our #disaster-mapping Slack channel.