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Vanuatu (Cyclone Pam)

Cyclone Pam Activation Request (OCHA ROP 15 March):
  • Collection locations of injured people, infrastructure damage, interrupted water supply, damaged health facilities etc. (data and crisis map).
  • Search for tweets about the storm, identify pictures and videos of damage and flooding, locate, verify and categorise the content.
  • Collect operational information into a Google Doc that captures information such as Assessments, relevant documents, relevant maps, response activities, funding info, etc.
In addition, a few organisations had self-activated -e.g. HOT, SBTF and HR.
Program Location(s): 
Activation Requiested by: 
OCHA Regional Office of the Pacific
Program status: 
Activation Request Date: 
Friday, March 6, 2015
Member Participation: 
Products delivered:
  • Creating digital basemaps for use by rapid responders and other organizations: the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) responded by accessing imagery and adding to the basemap data of Vanuatu through digitisation from this imagery.  This included adding / revising the data to include the airports, the road network, the settlements and individual buildings. Information available from the Vanuatu government and participation of people with knowledge of Vanuatu (e.g. from SBTF and PeaceGeeks) helped revise the basemap for the major infrastructures. The basemap also helps to identify emergency shelters, helicopter landing areas, and pre-disaster building footprints.  More information can be found at 2015 03 Vanuatu Pam Cyclone Response.
  • Social media early indications map: This was a live map produced by a partnership between Humanity Road (analysing social media), and GISCorps/PeaceGeeks (Online mapping).  It contains both a high level indication of potential areas (islands) impacted, and also allows interactive zooming with pop-ups containing summaries of impacts based on whether reports had been received indicating deaths, disease, injuries, food/water needs, and then an overall ‘Status’ as to whether the area was therefore impacted.
    • The first version was delivered on 22 March.  This fit well with UNDAC and government ground assessments, and the maps produced appeared to be very similar, indicating that remote social media assessments may be able to provide reasonably accurate initial assessment information.
  • Identifying pictures and videos of damage and flooding: this was led by SBTF and information is available via three maps at:
  • 3W and Assessment data visualisations: Simon Johnson worked with Humanity Road (3W) and SBTF (Assessments) to visualise their data from reports/spreadsheets:
  • Collecting operational information into a Google Doc: this was led by SBTF.  It contains Operational situational awareness that captures information such as Assessments, relevant documents for response, maps that have been created for the response by participating organisations, response activities, funding info, logistics for responders, meetings in country, etc.