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The story of Balkan Floods- A Story Of Digital Humanity


By Hrvoje Hrsto, May 23, 2014

It has been several days since one of the most violent storms took place in the Balkans. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia may have their worst weather days behind them, but that does not mean that the hard part is over. Although there is no more fear of storms,  some barriers may not hold off the next expecting flood wave. Luckily, help is coming from every corner of the world, so things do not look quite grim as they could have.

Historically speaking, Balkans are known for their constant (political) bickering. However, in times like this, people forget about these petty differences and it doesn’t matter what politicians do or think. As soon as the weather and logistic allowed it, communities that were not affected in the flood jumped in to help those in need.

Thankfully, we live in the era of the internet, so organising help was much quicker than just a decade ago. Social networks and media outlets were quick to report where help was most needed. Twitter users soon trensformed their favorite social network into an efficient reporting system, filing the latest news of the floods in 150 characters, sending reports and photos wherenever they managed.

Facebook enthusiasts did not fall behind, and calls for help soon started spreading over thousands of digital walls. There are now countless groups on Facebook dedicated to ogranizing help for the flood victims, in terms of gathering supplies, giving shelter for those who lost their homes and even rescuing pets and farm animals.

The local digital community took only hours to start webpages with crowdsourced information on the floods, and  places to collect and distribute food, medicine, water and other essentials. Even Google pitched in, putting al the needed information on the local shared information on the floods.

Google-poplave

Even though Montenegro was not hit by the floodwave,  they too hosted one such site dedicated to helping the flood victims, Pomozi.me, which means “Help me” in Montenegrin. There you can see where and how you can help to those in need if you live in Montenegro.

Internet, especially social networks like Facebook or Twitter, are proof that the humanity still knows how to be humane. People offered their homes as a shelter to total strangers. Doctors volunteered their time and expertise. School pupils spammed their walls with different telephone numbers for donations. Everybody contributed, and still contributes as much as they can.

Maybe the storm is over, but the real work and recovery has just started. Contribute in any way that you can because every bit of help is needed.


Author:

Hrvoje Hrsto

Hrvoje is BA audio engineer graduate from SAE Institute in Ljubljana, currently freelancing and writing. His interests are music, television and all things geeky.

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