PAMPANGA

Digital flood reporting platform set for launch in Pampanga on September 10

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Residents, first responders and government agencies in Pampanga will soon be able to report disasters at their fingertips through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Yayasan Peta Bencana (Disaster Map Foundation), an Indonesia-based non-profit organization, is set to launch its digital flood reporting platform, MapaKalamidad.ph, on September 10, 2020, Thursday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. via Zoom. A webinar entitled “Digital Bayanihan! Social Media for Humanitarian Action” will mark the virtual launch of the platform in partnership with the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.

As part of PDC’s USAid-funded regional early warning system program called PhilAWARE, MapaKalamidad.ph is a free web-based platform that produces megacity-scale visualizations of disasters in real time, using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations.

The platform uses the heightened use of social media and instant messaging during emergency events to gather and filter confirmed situational updates from residents at street level.

MapaKalamidad.ph can filter through reports in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time-consuming data processing, by engaging in AI-assisted conversations with residents through humanitarian chatbots over social media. These verified crowd-sourced reports are displayed alongside relevant emergency data from local and government agencies.

“The platform hopes to provide immediate situational information for residents, first responders, and local government agencies to empower them in making informed decisions about safety and navigation, and increasing their response times during disaster scenarios,” said Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay and Elton Evidente, researchers for Yayasan Peta Bencana, adding that the platform draws from the success of PetaBencana.id in Indonesia in using crowd-based and social media-powered platforms to increase community resilience during disasters.

The public can share flood information through MapaKalamidad.ph by submitting a report using Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram. On Facebook, users can make a report by messaging MapaKalamidad.ph. Twitter users need to tweet #flood to @mapakalamidad to make a report. The platform also gathers reports from Telegram by messaging /flood to @kalamidadbot.

Users will be able to input flood information, add photos, and describe the flood situation, and confirm their location. Reports will be put on a map and a shareable link will be sent to them.

The event will feature a discussion on the role of social media during humanitarian situations with speakers from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Philippines, and Center for Disaster Preparedness.

The webinar will be followed by the introduction and demonstration of MapaKalamidad.ph. The virtual launch is open and free to the public. For further inquiries, please e-mail mapakalamidad@petabencana.id. Registration is open at tinyurl.com/mapakalamidadph. (PR)


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