With social media, ‘we could have saved more lives’

By Amantha Perera ARANAYAKE, Sri Lanka (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – For the first 48 hours after a huge landslide wiped out his hometown of Aranayake and buried 220 families, Prabath Wedage was on his mobile phone constantly. "I have not been off the phone for five minutes," said Wedage, who has been trying to coordinate consignments of relief supplies for 1,700 displaced people in 13 emergency shelters, including Rajagiri School, where he normally works. In this devastated community – as in many disaster-hit places – the ubiquitous mobile phone and its social media apps are becoming a vital tool for relief and rescue workers, officials and families to share and gather information and keep in touch.

Original story here.

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