Turkey Prepares for Earthquakes by Rushing to Bridgefy
The Bridgefy App in Real Life 05/08/2023
On February 6, 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria. It was one of the strongest to ever hit the area since 1668. The official death toll stood at nearly 60,000 people in Turkey, and at almost 8,500 people in Syria. While Istanbul was not directly affected by it, it reminded the city of the disastrous 7.9 magnitude earthquake of 1999. Fear arose among its residents about when “the next big one” could hit them too, propelling people to rush to Bridgefy in preparation for it.
Why would Bridgefy be a good idea in such a scenario, though? Well, because, instead of relying on the Internet, Bridgefy uses a smartphone’s Bluetooth antenna to send messages within 330 feet or 100 meters. The more people download Bridgefy, the better, because every phone acts as a link in an ever increasing chain of devices. This is known as a mesh network.
A mesh network allows Bridgefy to cover large distances by letting messages “hop” through other users’ phones until they reach the intended destination. This way, the people of Istanbul knew they had an additional lifesaver, in case a natural disaster struck phone lines or Internet services down.
The dramatic increase in downloads broke all records for Bridgefy in Turkey. A week after the earthquakes, Bridgefy recorded a spike of about 300,000 downloads in roughly 48 hours – almost all of them in Istanbul, and approximately half of all downloads in Turkey during February 2023. By the time the month was over, Bridgefy downloads in Turkey had increased a staggering 77% in comparison to all accumulated downloads in that country up until that month.
Word-of-mouth certainly had a lot to do with these record-breaking stats, too. People informed each other of how useful Bridgefy could be “during the next big one” over social media and other news platforms.
This all together launched the offline messaging app to the first spot in the communication apps category in both the Turkish Google and Apple app stores, furthering the need for it in any “earthquake-proof” emergency kit.
BIA News Desk (2023). February 6 earthquakes reinvoke fears about İstanbul’s potential ‘big one’.
Mobillatte (2023). Bridgefy, İnternetsiz Mesajlaşma ile Deprem Anlarında Size Yardımcı Oluyor.
Wikipedia (2023). 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquake.
Featured image credit: Əziz Kərimov (VOA) – Voice of America, Public Domain (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license).