Mobile app designed in Rio to alert residents about danger

Rio de janeiro
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A volunteering group in Brazil has developed a new internet application (App) to help alert residents of crossfire shootings in Rio de Janeiro.

This comes even after reports indicate that in every day, Rio de Janeiro witnesses an average of 15 gun battles dramatic enough for any Hollywood action film.

According to the project initiator Benito Quintanilha, the App, known as Onde tem tiroteio (Where There's a Shootout) or OTT, offers nearly instantaneous notification of armed robberies and gunfights throughout the city.

"The idea emerged in December 2015, I saw a news report about someone hit by a stray bullet in a Rio neighbourhood and I thought 'why not create a (web) page, a means to alert the Rio population about where there are shootouts." Said Benito.

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The 41-year-old added that he was overwhelmed by the ides and sought the help of his two friends, physicist Marcos Vinicius, and programmer Denis Colli.

"We got together and created a template, we have a form," Quintanilha said. 

"Each one of us has a task. Enrique and I are in charge of operations, we receive the messages. Marcos Vinicius is in charge of administration, and Denis is our IT expert, he provides support if there's any trouble with the apps."

The alerts, which now circulate on Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram as well as Facebook, reach nearly 3 million people, almost half the population of Rio de Janeiro.

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