Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mass Emergency SMS Notification

Lately, the newspapers did report on certain SMS being unsolicited and sent out to telcos customers without them requesting for it and yet get charged for it. This controversial issue was highlighted in Screenshots. At certain times, unsolicited SMS would be welcomed by customers.

In the cities of Zhanjiang, Maoming and Meizhou in China, a tropical storm was said to be approaching these cities and rumour started as early as 4.00 a.m. (12 Aug) with this SMS message "Huge rainstorm in Leizhou Peninsula began to spread like a plague in those areas."

At the point of receiving such SMS message, the rumour began. Government officials were notified of such SMS message but now the message has turned to "Huge earthquake will be triggered by the rainstorm in Zhanjiang."

One of the town mayor who went out to work noticed the citizens lingering outside houses, offices, buildings and checked on the peculiar situation. Now he has heard that the SMS message became "the huge rainstorm in Leizhou will trigger off an earthquake."

The Zhanjiang Earthquake Bureau and the Zhanjiang Weather Observatory heard about the rumour. Not long after that, they decided to use the Weather Observatory's SMS emergency notification system to disseminate an accurate information to dispel the rumoured message being spread via SMS message. At the rate of 500,000 SMS message per hour, the local government was able to send out messages to the 1,400,000 mobile telephone users in the city.

* At 8.41a.m., the following was sent out:-

"The Zhanjiang city Earthquake Bureau and Weather Observatory reminds you: there has not been any earthquakes recently even though earthquake rumors began to appear at 4am this morning in the Leizhou, Wushi, Beihuo and Tanduo of Zhanjiang city. Please do not be afraid!"

* At 10:30am, a second emergency SMS notification system was issued:-

"The Zhanjiang city weather observatory gives this special reminder: the weather will be unstable for the two days, with showers and heavy rains. Please be prepared and call 12121 anytime for the latest weather report."

A success for the local government as they were able to send out 2.8 million in 3 hours. Is Malaysia ready for that sort of exercise? Instead of just harping on who sent out the rumours that de-stabilised the cities, the local government took up the responsibility to make right the situation. (Adopted from Zonaeuropa)

Tags: China, Zhanjiang, Maoming, Meizhou, SMS, SMS Message, Zhanjiang Earthquake Bureau, Zhanjiang Weather Observatory

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Blogger BarrettLaurie said...

That is amzing! I didn't even know this technology existed! That could save SO many lives! Great post! Be sure and keep you American readers posted on how this new technology is working! Take care Johnny!

18 August, 2007 15:57  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

it was def a good effort by the china govt to implement that sort of emergency notification esp when u hav only a short time to evacuate in case if it's real

20 August, 2007 02:50  

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