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New Report Shows How Mobile Phones Helped Haitian Earthquake Victims

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 2, 2011

Above: Victims of the Haitian earthquake queue up for water (UN Photo: Sophia Paris)

A new report shows the way scientists mapped populations movements after Haiti’s earthquake using data from more than two million cell phone handsets. “We rapidly received mobile phone data, and within 12 hours we were able to send out analyses describing which areas had received people from the cholera outbreak zone to provide information on areas at increased risk of new outbreaks,” said Dr Linus Bengtsson of the Karolinska Institute. The anonymised data was provided by Digicel, which has seen rapid growth in the Haitian market, to Columbia University and Karolinska Institute researchers. More than 600,000 citizens left Port-au-Prince in the first 19 days after the earthquake. [BBC]

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