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Tech innovations to mitigate natural disasters in Indonesia

The frequency with which natural disasters strike Indonesia has inspired technology innovators to create new devices and applications to help minimise the casualties.

Deoterions saves victims

As reported, Deoterions is among the recent innovations. It helps detect victims of earthquakes buried as deep as 100 metres under building debris.

Developed by three students from Brawijaya University, Deoterions is reportedly short for “detector of interconnected position points”.

It is similar to a credit card and needs to be in the victim’s possession in order for them to be detected and saved.

The technology aims to speed up the rescue by finding the victims’ positions under the debris after the earthquake had occurred.

The rescue team only needs to have the mobile application installed to activate the card and begin the search.

The device could send out 915 Mghz radio frequency signals as far as 10 kilometres from the position of the victim. That signal can be received by other Deoterions users.

There is no need for the victims to activate the device as it can be activated by other users. There will be a flashing green sign on the smartphone screen of the search party that will serve as indicator.

Once the flash gets quicker, it means that they are closer to the location of the victim.

This addresses the issue of not having any technology that will ease the search for earthquake victims.

Past experiences had search and rescue teams relying on excavators, sniffer dogs, and the actual cries of help from the victims.

In addition, the technology can also determine a victim’s condition. If they have lost consciousness, the rescuer’s smartphone screen would flash with a red signal.

The developers shared that the device can also be used for victims of landslides and plane crashes.

Early warning is key for AtmaGo

While Deoterions can help with rescue efforts, a different mobile application called AtmaGo aims to help people get out of harm’s way before disaster strikes.

The application gives users early warnings for fires, flood and crime, giving them time to prepare and take shelter.

It prepares the users by giving advice on what they should prepare for in anticipation of a disaster. These include clothing, basic food and healthcare supplies and clean water.

In a case study done by the company responsible for the app, the early warning feature has the potential to lessen property damages caused by floods and other disasters at a rate of almost IDR 4.4 million (US$ 315) per household.

By working with the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the company hopes to gain more reliable information on natural disasters in the future to improve its early warning feature.

Challenges may occur when users do not have good signals, particularly during urgent times. However, this is addressed by the capability of AtmaGo to share information via Bluetooth.

The company reassures that they are working on improving their offline services.

OpenGov Asia recently reported on UAV to boost Indonesia’s disaster recovery capability. The UAV can identify locations where help is needed, making it easier for rescue teams to plan and prioritise.

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