San Diego State University plays a role in tsunami relief efforts

San Diego 10 January 2005San Diego State University's Visualization Center and several faculty members are assisting in relief efforts for those affected by the tsunami that battered South and Southeast Asia late last year. Eric Frost, director of the Visualization Center, has acquired and printed satellite imagery with regional and high-resolution views of the disaster area before and after the earthquake and tsunami. Doctors involved in relief efforts in Indonesia will use these data sets as planning and management tools for medical assistance.


Two adjunct faculty members, Eric Rasmussen and David Warner, are currently in Indonesia, attempting to set up medical reachback operations in the refugee camps so that United States health professionals can provide remote medical guidance to support workers at the scene. Both Rasmussen and Warner are medical doctors who have worked with the Visualization Center since 2002 in its efforts to employ communication tools and real-time networking for disaster response.

"The Visualization Center will be trying to assist the Indonesian relief efforts as part of our extensive international involvement and use of collaborative tools to solve important problems", stated Eric Frost. He has also found two Ph.D. students from Sumatra to provide real-time translation services for relief workers in Indonesia.

In India, emeritus professor Govindarajalu Krishnamoorthy is testing an innovative water treatment system with manufacturer Pure-O-Tech. Assisted by Mirat Gurol, professor of civil and environmental engineering, they expect to be producing much-needed drinking water for India’s tsunami victims sometime this week. Finally, Taweesak Molsowat, professor of metalsmithing, who was vacationing in Thailand at the time of the disaster, has remained there as a volunteer relief worker, assisting a group of doctors and nurses in Puket.

San Diego State University President Stephen L. Weber said he is proud of the faculty who are contributing to the tsunami relief efforts. "We continue to be saddened by this unfolding story of loss. What gives us hope is the willingness of so many people, including our own faculty, to provide assistance to victims of the disaster", Stephen L. Weber stated.

Leslie Versweyveld

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