Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Stampedes and chocolates

STAMPEDE ARTICLES Two interesting posts about the Wowowee Tragedy, which led to the death of more than seventy persons and the injuries of hundreds. Alecks Pabico at the PCIJ blog posted an informative article about the stampede entitled: Panic-induced stampede aggravated by narrow exits, lack of exit and crowd control plans — scientists. And Sky at the white papers: stories live from cubicle L23 also wrote an intersting post: The Physics of Stampedes Both articles looks into the physical factors and phenomenon that plays into a stampede. The PJIC articles hasPDFf files that explain the phenomenon in detail. According to the UP-based scientists from AGHAM (Samahan ng Nagtataguyod ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Sambayanan) at the Tragedy at Ultra had all the factors leading to a panic induced stampede. AGHAM chairperson, UP-based physicist Dr Giovanni Tapang said: "Narrow exits, lack of coordination, absence of exits plans, movement in multiple directons combined with a strong desire to reach an objective due to poverty is a recipe for panic-induced stampede,". Tapang along with Dr. Caesar Paloma, Gay Perez, Dr. May Lim, and Dr. Cynthia Palmes-Saloma demonstrated in their research with mice that panic-induced clogging at exits or passageways can be triggered by the following factors:
  • Width and design of passageways
  • Exit plan
  • Amount of panic or drive to reach the exit
Again an interesting set of information and sheds new light into what happened at Ultra. The information found on these posts are bolstered by studies done in relation to stampedes at football events, studies of traffic flows, and historical battles, where the outcome of the battle was decided by the nature of the plain. As in Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt. Henry's enemies the French, who overnumberedhisss forces, were massacred. The victory, which was traditionally attributed to the long bow, was brought about by several factors, one of which was a muddy terrain that narrowed down greatly. The French forces in attacking Henry committed their forces to attack passed through a narrowingMudd terrain. What followed next was a stampede that injured a number of the French knights and foot soldiers - killed by the booths of their own allies and mud of Agincourt. A physical explanation of how things happens often helps us understand the situation more, help ferret out those guilty and hopefully prevent similar catastrophes in the future. CHOCOLATES Everyday I go home from work I see a group of people converging on this spot. Curious, I took a look and found out they were selling chocolates at a cheap price. Well, it does seem to be a good buy. Here take a look: Cheap An additional post for today Ali Mall: 2006


Blogger Rizalist said...

Read again Agham: "Narrow exits, lack of coordination, absence of exit plans, movement in multiple directons combined with a strong desire to reach an objective due to poverty is a recipe for panic-induced stampede,"?

I don't think the stampede was induced by "panic" unless it's true that someone shouted "bomb." But "a strong desire to reach an objective due to poverty" --that almost sounds like "greed" or "avarice" as one might apply it to gamblers -- many of whom are also desperately poor and also adopt a rather foolish strategy against poverty. Also some of the people in that crowd didn't strike me as "desperately poor" -- just desperate to get rich.

Of course no one deserves to die of compressive asphyxia.

(saw a ref to you from mlq3)

2/07/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Ah! Quite true. A panic induced stampede is a an inaccurate term to use. Maybe frenzy or agitation caused by the prospect of losing the chance to gain money led to the stampede. Not all were of course really poor people. In tonight news they featured a vegetable vendor who lost forty thousand pesos. She was invited by her friends to join the event saying it was an easy way to earn money. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the desire of money that is that root of all evil.

Thanks for visiting. I am a regular reader of your blog :)

2/07/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Sorry. I meant "It is the desire for money that is the root of all evil.

2/07/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger sky said...

Hey Juned:

Thanks for the link. Mine is just a quickie search on the internet and I tried to get some real-life examples.

I think Ganni (parang close kami, hehe) et al's paper was published in a theoretical physics symposium. Never thought we'd cross paths again (he was gunning for the USC when I was a freshie back in Diliman), but he's famous and I'm not.

I'd like to be careful about the term "panic" which often translates to "fear" but maybe what the physicists thought of is a collectively-heightened sense of motivation towards achieving something--a poster, a cap or a slot in a game segment, like in my examples.

2/09/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger juned said...

Thanks. As Rizalist (DJB) pointed out its not really the proper term for it. It leads to different set of emotions. Agitated and frenzy maybe more appropriate although panic will soon follow.

2/09/2006 09:09:00 AM  

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