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Indonesia launches new flood monitoring platform

Adrian M. Reodique | Feb. 8, 2017
The platform also accepts updates on flood situations from Twitter and Telegram.


PetaBencana platform. Credit: PetaBencana's website.

Indonesia's national disaster management agency, Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Urban Risk Lab have launched a new flood monitoring platform called PetaBencana.id.

The development of the platform is part of the InAWARE Disaster Management Early Warning and Decision Support Capacity Enhance project of BNBP and Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD) phase II.

The platform, which can be access through www.petabencana.id, shows the latest flood information in Greater Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung. It replaced the earlier disaster mapping service, PetaJakarta.org., but all the reports on the old site will be transferred to PetaBencana.id.

The new platform allows citizens to report the flood situation in their areas in real-time. However, reports will still be verified and propagated directly through a public forum.

The platform is integrated with social media and instant messaging applications, allowing users to report flood situations through Twitter and Telegram.

For instance, users can send a tweet about the situation to @petabencana and including #banjir, before a bot automatically guides users to fill out the report form. In Telegram, they can send the message "* / flood *" to @BencanaBot. Users can add descriptions and photos as details in the report.

"The power of social media is growing rapidly. In line with the development of social media and digital technology, BNPB and MIT developed the world's first platform that involves the community in real time and society at the same time also be able to access information such disaster," said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, Head of Data, Information and Public Relations at BNPB, in a press release.

"In addition to Twitter and telegram, this time we are working with Qlue, PasangMata detik.com, Z-alerts and other partners," said Dr. Etienne Turpin, Co-Director of MIT researchers PetaBencana.id and Urban Risk Lab, in a press release. "Users can report as normal through the application of their choice and the information can be directly integrated into the map."

Besides the flood map, the platform can also display the water level in sluices and the location of the nearest pumps.

Moving forward, the agency hopes to develop another platform for other disasters such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. 

 

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