Since then warning systems have been put in place in many countries, yet the notice period before a pending tsunami can be quite short and the efficacy of some of the current warning systems are not always effective.
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After another undersea offshore earthquake in 2010, the subsequent tsunami still managed to kill 560 people in Chile alone. In 2011 the Chilean government issued a tender for a new method of tsunami alert, utilizing location aware text messages. The small Israeli start-up firm eVigilo won and installed for them a smart system that, “just works”.
We found that out for real earlier this week, when on Tuesday Chile experienced a new under-sea earthquake in its northern offshore waters. The huge quake, which reached 8.2 on the Richter scale took the lives of six people and triggered a new tsunami that hit the Chilean coast with large waves striking unprotected areas.
However it could have been much worse but for their new alert system which warned millions of Chileans in the danger zone, who were able to flee the coast in time.
The eVigilo system was able to send text alerts solely to cellular phones in the precise geographical areas where the tsunami wave was expected to land, and nowhere else. As such there was no “crying wolf” problem of false alarms and the alerts were immediately acted upon by those in the tsunami’s path.
Guy Weiss, the CEO of eViglio said, “This time the system worked amazingly well throughout the coast of Chile, resulting in millions of Chileans evacuated from their homes in a timely manner. Nobody was killed by the tsunami itself, in fact.”
Weiss has been in constant contact with authorities in Chile during this crisis, over the operation of the system, which was contracted for originally for US$5 million. With a large after shock experienced again on Wednesday, registering 7.6 on the Richter scale the system was quickly tested a second time and again did its job. Further tremors have been experienced again today even, though it seems now at a lower level of intensity.
Operational eVigilo systems are currently installed in Chile and Israel, and are currently undergoing pilot programmes in Singapore, Azerbaijan, Austria and Belgium. The company’s biggest customer so far, as one might expect given the nature of the threats the small country could face from missile equipped terrorist organizations such as Hizbollah, is Israel’s Home Front Command, with total installed systems valued at about US$ 20 million.
During a real emergency, using eViglio you can send emergency text messages to 11 million mobile devices in Israel – all within a total transmission time of three seconds. If the emergency is known to be restricted to a specific geographic sub-area then the messages will also be restricted to devices in that particular location alone.
eVigilo’s mission is to enhance emergency responders’ mass notification capabilities by using a geo-targeted multi-channel alert and notification system reaching millions of people within seconds.
eVigilo is the only solution that has been successfully deployed by multiple countries around the globe, among others by the Israeli Home Front Command and the Chilean Emergency Management Authority. The eVigilo SMART Alert platform is used on national level (SMART for Governments) as well as on regional level (SMART for Municipalities) as the main alert and notification dissemination system.
The eVigilo platform receives event input from multiple sources both human interface and sensors. The platform sends geo-targeted alerts and notifications to any media, both legacy systems as well as next generation information systems such as mobile networks, fix-telephony, TV, radio, sirens, billboards and push notification services like email, Smartphone & PC applications as well as social networks.