Two tropical cyclones triggered torrential rainfall across Java, inundating the capital city of Jakarta and its surrounding areas for the fourth major time this year.
According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the series of floods that have inundated the capital region over the past two months are a result of climate change-driven global warming. Average temperatures in Indonesia peaked in 2019, with Jakarta experiencing an annual temperature rise 1.4 times higher than global trends. The agency recorded 278 millimeters of rainfall in 24 hours, categorizing the weather as ‘extreme rain’ with the city receiving one month’s worth of rain in a single day.
As flooding paralyzed traffic on major thoroughfares, disrupted commuter lines for over two consecutive days, inundated the state national hospital, and cut off electricity to over 1,600 substations, residents continued to search for verified information about the flood situation in order to make timely decisions about safety and response. Amidst a spread of misinformation, the National Emergency Management Agency (BNPB) endorsed PetaBencana.id as the official information sharing platform to collectively mitigate risk.
Thousands of residents contributed to crowd-sourced flood mapping by submitting flood reports to PetaBencana.id; informing each other about the severity of the flood, infrastructure failures, and response efforts. PetaBencana.id experienced a 26,000% increase in activity as residents actively checked the web-based map to understand the flooding situation, avoid flooded areas, and make decisions about safety and response. The Jakarta Emergency Management Agency (BPBD DKI Jakarta) monitored the map to respond to resident needs, coordinate response, and also updated the real-time map with information about flood affected neighborhoods.
On February 25th, MetroTV featured PetaBencana.id thrice on its breaking news segment, advising residents to check the open-source platform in order to stay up-to-date on the flooding situation and mitigate risk. Google Maps also sourced and linked to PetaBencana.id for verified flood information. As various news agencies shared the platform as a primary information source, thousands of residents used social media channels to share the real-time flood map, commenting on its ease of use, and commending its usefulness in navigating unanticipated disaster events.
As floodwaters disrupted the city, community-led information sharing continues to support response and planning efforts at multiple scales. Agus Wibowo, Head of the Center for Data, Information and Public Relations at the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), urged residents to share flood reports through PetaBencana.id, highlighting the significance of community led data collection, sharing, and visualization in reducing disaster risk and assisting field response.
Yayasan Peta Bencana thanks all residents of Indonesia for continuing to share critical information, and applauds the indispensable role of all residents in helping neighbors, government agencies, responders, and researchers develop strategies for climate adaptation.
As BMKG predicts extreme rainfall to continue until March, Dwikorita Karnawati, Head of BMKG, emphasizes the need for improved coordination and synergy between multiple stakeholders for climate adaptation efforts.
Residents of Indonesia can submit real-time flood reports by tweeting #banjir @petabencana, sending a Facebook message to @petabencana.id, or sending a Telegram message to @bencanabot. We remind everyone to check https://petabencana.id for up-to-date information and to stay safe!
PetaBencana.id is a part of the USAID BNPB InAWARE: Disaster Management Early Warning and Decision Support Capacity Enhancement Project in Indonesia. PetaBencana.id is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project is made possible through collaboration with project partners including the Pacific Disaster Center at the University of Hawaii and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; our implementing partners at the National Emergency Management Agency (BNPB) and Jakarta Emergency Management Agency (BPBD DKI Jakarta); and, our data partners including Mapbox, Twitter, Qlue, and PasangMata.
To inaugurate the national launch of the PetaBencana.id disaster management platform, Yayasan Peta Bencana and BNPB, supported by PLN and Bank BRI, hosted the first country-wide disaster preparedness event of its kind—the #112Challenge. Over 125 organizations and 3,376 residents across 17 provinces in Indonesia participated in the nation-wide competition, where residents simulated real-time flood reporting and information sharing through PetaBencana.id.
PetaBencana.id is a free and open source platform that provides real-time disaster information and transparent communication between residents and government agencies, in order to reduce risk and increase emergency response times. The online platform harnesses the use of social media to crowdsource disaster information from residents on-the-ground, who often have the most up-to-date information, and displays this information on a live web-based map.
During the opening remarks of the official launch, Doni Monardo, Head of BNPB, said: “PetaBencana.id will become a primary channel of interactive crisis communication between the government and residents. By enabling all residents across Indonesia to submit real-time disaster reports through social media, the platform will support faster response and reduce disaster risk.”
In this unprecedented community-led disaster preparedness event, over 125 schools, BPBDs, NGOs, and businesses across Indonesia simultaneously set up disaster-themed murals in their neighborhoods as part of the #112Challenge. They invited their friends, neighbors, and nearby communities to take photos with the mural, post #banjir on social media, and submit test reports to PetaBencana.id. Throughout the course of the day, the platform received more than 3,376 reports as organizations competed to train millions of community members about real-time disaster information sharing.
Now, any resident in Indonesia can submit a disaster report anonymously by tweeting @petabencana, sending a Facebook message to @petabencana, or sending a telegram message to @bencanabot. Government emergency management agencies also monitor the map to assess the disaster situation and respond to resident needs as part of a two-way communication system; they can also update the map to alert residents about the severity of a disaster.
In response to the platform’s national launch, Agus Wibowo, Head of the Center for Data, Information, and Public Relations at the National Disaster Management Agency, said, “The transparency of the platform provides all residents, community organizations, humanitarian agencies, and government agencies, free access to time-critical information needed to make informed decisions, thereby fostering collaborative resilience and coordinated response to disaster events across the country.”
Since its debut in 2013 (as PetaJakarta.org), the PetaBencana.id platform has been used by millions of resident users to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency flood events in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya. The platform has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the prestigious 2019 United Nations Public Service Award. In the 2015 World Disaster Report of the International Federation of the Red Cross, the project was recommended as a model for community engagement in relation to disaster response.
Having proven beyond any doubt that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces disaster risk and assists in relief efforts, in 2020 the platform expanded to support all of Indonesia. Later in the year, PetaBencana.id will also expand its reporting mechanism to include reports for all other hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes, extreme wind, and forest fires and haze.
PetaBencana.id is a part of the USAID BNPB InAWARE: Disaster Management Early Warning and Decision Support Capacity Enhancement Project in Indonesia. PetaBencana.id is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project is made possible through collaboration with project partners including the Pacific Disaster Center at the University of Hawaii and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; our implementing partners at the National Emergency Management Agency; our data partners including Mapbox, Twitter, Qlue, and PasangMata; and, financial sponsors for the #112Challenge, PT. PLN and Bank Rakyat Indonesia .
In preparation for the nation-wide launch of PetaBencana.id, @america hosted an interactive session on February 5th: “Banjir, Bots, and Gotong Royong: Strengthening Civic Participation for Climate Adaptation in Indonesia”.
Opened by Jason Seuc, Deputy Director of the Environment Office of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the session focused on the significance of community-led information sharing during disaster events.
Harlan Hale, Regional Advisor for the US Agency of International Development Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID OFDA), shared the importance of resident reporting in supporting response efforts by humanitarian and government agencies. Residents on-the-ground often have the most up-to-date information – the knowledge of local communities and the dense network of mobile sensors connected via social media, provides a data source of unprecedented resolution for mitigating urban risk.
In order to transform the “noise” of social media into actionable information, Nashin Mahtani, director of Yayasan Peta Bencana, shared how the PetaBencana.id platform employs chatbots to engage in AI assisted conversations with residents to confirm flooding.
As new tools, applications, and software are adopted by governments and NGOs for the identification and management of urban risk, Maryanto, S. Kom, Head of data management and information systems at BNPB, iterated the significance of data sharing and integration of various data.
The event was live streamed at several American Chapters including ITB, UMY, and UIN. Participants engaged in a lively discussion, raising questions about the verification of crowd-sourced reporting, privacy and ethics of information gathering, and the potential latency of online platforms during high periods of surging activity.
Following a live-demo led by Hotniida AMW Sinambela, Research Operations Coordinator of Yayasan Peta Bencana, participants simulated real-time flood reporting and information sharing through PetaBencana.id.
In preparation for the national-launch of PetaBencana.id, to be held on February 11th, @america set up an exclusive preview of their participation in the #112Challenge. The #112Challenge is the first country-wide disaster preparedness event of its kind, where over 125 organizations in Indonesia will participate in a nation-wide competition to increase disaster awareness. On the 11th of February, 3D flood murals will be set up in over 125 locations across Indonesia. Organizations will encourage their communities to use their mural selfies to practice submitting flood reports via Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram. @america is one of the participating locations, and the event on February 5th enabled participants to engage in an exclusive preview of the #112Challenge! Make sure you visit the venue on February 11th to support your city in winning! To find locations near you check the map at: info.petabencana.id/112challenge.
PetaBencana.id is a platform run by Yayasan Peta Bencana as a free, transparent platform for emergency response and disaster management in megacities in South and Southeast Asia. PetaBencana.id is a part of the USAID BNPB InAWARE: Disaster Management Early Warning and Decision Support Capacity Enhancement Project in Indonesia.
Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, PetaBencana.id is a free web-based platform that produces megacity-scale visualizations of disasters using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations in real time. The platform harnesses the heightened use of social media and instant messaging during emergency events to gather confirmed situational updates from street level, in a manner that removes the need for expensive and time consuming data processing. These verified user reports are displayed alongside relevant emergency data collected by local and government agencies. By integrating localized knowledge from a variety of sources into a single, robust platform, PetaBencana.id is able to provide a comprehensive overview of disaster events, enabling residents, humanitarian agencies, and government agencies to make more informed decisions during emergencies.
Since its debut in 2013 (as PetaJakarta.org), the PetaBencana.id platform has been used by millions of resident users to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency flood events; it has also been adopted by the National Emergency Management Agency (BNPB) to monitor flood events, improve response times, and share time-critical emergency information with residents. The platform has enabled greater information sharing and data coordination among residents and government agencies, fostering equitable and collaborative resilience to climate change.
Currently supporting a coverage area with over 50 million residents in Jabodetabek, Surabaya, and Bandung, PetaBencana.id has proven that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces flood risk and assists in relief efforts. In the 2015 World Disaster Report of the International Federation of the Red Cross, the project was recommended as a model for community engagement in relation to disaster response. In 2016, the Federal Communication Commission of the United States also recommended the project as a best practice regarding disaster information crowdsourcing. PetaBencana.id is now being further developed to address additional hazards and other geographies in Indonesia.
Mahtani N. and E. Turpin. “Neuroecologies of Attention & Intelligence in the Megacity: Learning with PetaBencana.id,” in Perspecta 51: Becoming Media The Yale Architectural Journal, November 2018.
Mahtani, Nashin. “Impressions of Disaster: Neuroscience, Design, and Attention
in Post-Internet Indonesia,” in e-flux Architecture, August, 2017.
Turpin, E., and T. Holderness. “From Social Media to GeoSocial Intelligence: Experiments with Crowdsourcing Civic Co-Management for Flood Response in Jakarta, Indonesia,” in Social Media for Government Services, eds. Surya Nepal, Cécile Paris, Dimitrios Georgakopoulos (Springer, 2016).
Holderness, T., and E. Turpin, “How tweeting about floods became a civic duty in Jakarta,” in The Guardian, Public Leaders Network, 25 January 2016.
Holderness T. and E. Turpin. “Floods in Jakarta? Tweeting Now,” in Strategic Review 5.1(October-December 2015): 26-35.
Holderness T., and E. Turpin. PetaJakarta.org: Assessing the Role of Social Media for Civic
Co-Management During Monsoon Flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia, SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, GeoSocial Intelligence Working Group White Paper 01 (June 2015).
Turpin, E., T. Holderness, and G. Quaggiotto. “Combining ‘Big’ and ‘Small’ Data to Build Urban Resilience in Jakarta,” United Nations Global Pulse Blog, April 2014.
Turpin, E., A. Bobbette, and M. Miller, eds. Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation (Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).
The PetaBencana.id community is made up of a diverse group of volunteers, local community leaders, and professionals dedicated to building capacities for community-based disaster co-management. There are a number of ways to get involved!
Support open data & open software for climate adaptation:
Help us keep the map running as a free platform, so that everyone in Indonesia can have access to time critical information!
To donate via wire transfer, please email email@example.com.
Become a Sustaining Partner:
Partner with Yayasan Peta Bencana to increase employee engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility Programs! We also work with organisations to provide customized alerts to ensure the safety of your belongings and staff.
Become a Risk Ambassador:
Are you passionate about spreading disaster awareness and increasing preparedness in your communities? Sign up to become a risk ambassador – no experience needed, we will provide you the support you need!
Technology and Training:
Yayasan Peta Bencana provides training to organizations, embassies, schools, and volunteer communities. Through digital literacy workshops we provide the necessary skills to safely and easily access and share time-critical information – leveraging capacities for everyone to participate in critical decision-making and boost community resilience. We can customize training to meet the needs of your organization.
Sign up for a training by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Bring the crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform to your location:
The platform is now being further developed to address additional hazards and other geographies in South East Asia. If you would like to see a crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform implemented in your area, please contact us at email@example.com.
Contact us for current volunteer activities, or if you would like to get involved in other ways! We would love to hear from you!