Home > Science > ‘Crowd quakes’ could be predicted by CCTV analysis

‘Crowd quakes’ could be predicted by CCTV analysis

David Robson writes in New Scientist:

Pressure waves that travel through tightly-packed crowds on the verge of panic could warn of impending disasters, such as the stampede on Saudi Arabia’s Jamarat Bridge during the Hajj of 2006, researchers say.

The team studied footage of the tragedy and found crowds can experience sudden changes like shock waves, turbulence, and even “crowd quakes” when built-up tension is suddenly released. They think CCTV analysis could spot and warn of dangerous tensions before such an event.

…The researchers used software to simplify the video and represent members of the crowd as moving patches of colour. They measured features such as the density, speed, and “pressure” of the crowd.

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