I’m almost at the end of the stories of beneficiaries we helped in August.
At the point where I had allocated almost all of the donations, we had a family trip to Belen Farm – a place a good two hour drive away that is well known to Jackie’s family – they used to spend their holidays there as children. I hired a van and Jackie’s mum, most of Jackie’s siblings, their partners and a niece all piled in for the road trip!
The area we went to was as different to Tacloban as you can get – it seemed sparsely populated and very green. The area was not affected by the storm surge as it is so far away, but buildings were decimated by the winds.
This included the house…
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Social networking services like Facebook, Google+ or Twitter allow easy and rapid sharing of information, feelings and observations. During natural disasters, these data can be used to obtain insight into the mood of the population and the extent of damage from the perspective of eye-witnesses.
Method & Data
To get rapid information on what eye-witnesses report from the affected area, we analyze twitter messages related to the typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda which hit the Philippines at Nov. 7, 20:40 UTC. We extract twitter messages, so called tweets, containing one or more specified keywords from the field of “cyclonic storms” and use them for further analysis shown below. For the time frame of Nov. 4 to Nov. 12 we get a database of 36751 localized tweets of which 5159 are located in our area of interest (Philippines). About 939 to 1602 of these tweets have photos attached.
When do people twitter?
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Until now I’ve told you mostly about the follow up work I did with Jackie’s beneficiaries. I met new people though, and I’d like to start telling you about them. I need to explain though, that I didn’t get the same detail Jackie did on a lot of the people I met. It was hard to ask questions, have them translated, have the person answer, have the answer translated, make notes and then ask the next question. It was especially hard when these were incredibly personal questions and it was clear I was assessing whether we would or wouldn’t help.
Personally, I also found it really difficult to see the levels of poverty people were surviving in. I’ve never seen anything like it before and a lot of the time I was just trying to hold it together, to not react so that people didn’t feel judged by this white…
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My trip to Tacloban was a few months overdue. My friend Emma and I initially planned the trip on December 2013, but I did not have enough funds back then. I finally got to save enough to be able to give something to some typhoon survivors by April.
I was nervous when I left home for Tacloban. The money that I had set aside for our activity was not in my bank account. I later found out that it was just because of the bank’s system maintenance. Later in the day, the money in my bank account even doubled. I thought it was a miracle! Ha! Everything was corrected after the maintenance.
During my brief layover in Cebu on my way to Tacloban, I had to meet my coolest friend in the world Jersie. She took me to breakfast and I had to give her money for the hotel reservation…
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