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Disaster Risk Reduction and Open Data Newsletter: February 2020 Edition

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Bushfire crisis: More than half of all Australians found to have been directly affected
More than half of all Australians have been directly affected by the summer’s bushfire crisis, including millions suffering health effects, according to a new survey from the Australia Institute.

How AI is battling the coronavirus outbreak
AI helped spot an early warning about the outbreak, and researchers have used flight traveller data to figure out where the novel coronavirus could pop up next.

Philippines lowers Taal Volcano alerts as eruptions wane
The alert was reduced to 3 from 4 out of a 5 rating-scale, says the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. The agency has cautioned the downgrade “should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased or that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared.”

Thailand: Government sets up water crisis centre
With Thailand facing a drought disaster, the government has set up a special command centre chaired by the Prime Minister, to handle the crisis and assist affected villages.

Major boost for disaster risk management in Vanuatu
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a contingent US$10 million in support to Vanuatu that will strengthen the island nation’s resilience to disasters, support climate adaption, and help manage its debt.

Deep data helps cities prepare for disasters
Disaster response experts have begun utilising non-traditional data sources to assist with planning including high-resolution images from satellites and drones, localised temperature and seismic intelligence from microsensors, and open data repositories such as social media activity to street maps from thousands of volunteer digital cartographers.

Read the full Disaster Risk Reduction and Open Data Newsletter