provides residents, government agencies, and first responders with a real-time disaster information sharing system at an unprecedented scale. It is the first platform of its kind to harness the power of crowdsourcing through social media to aid humanitarian response and recovery.

News Partners with Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. to Strengthen Disaster Preparedness in the Philippines, the leading disaster information sharing platform in the Philippines, entered into an official partnership with Philippine Transmarine Carrier Inc.’s (PTC) Resiliency Improvement, Support, and Education (RISE) for Seafarer Communities in the Philippines Program, the flagship disaster risk reduction and management program of PTC.

This strategic partnership aims to promote and enhance disaster preapredness efforts in the Philippines, particularly PTC RISE communities, through the use of’s platform that harnesses the power of social media during disaster events to gather real time and on the ground updates straight from the residents. These verified user updates or reports are displayed alongside relevant emergency data collected by local and government agencies. By integrating localized knowledge from various sources into a single, robust platform, provides a comprehensive overview of disaster events, enabling residents, humanitarian agencies, and government agencies to make more informed decisions during emergencies.

The Memorandum of Agreement signing ceremony took place on September 19, 2023, at First Maritime Place in Makati City. The event brought together key representatives from both organizations.

Through this partnership, and PTC aim to achieve the following key objectives:

1. Strengthened Disaster Response: By combining the expertise of and PTC, the partnership will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of disaster response efforts, ensuring prompt and coordinated actions during emergencies.

2. Enhanced Data Integration: The collaboration will facilitate the integration of PTC’s maritime data and‘s comprehensive disaster management platform, enabling seamless information sharing and improved decision-making processes.

3. Heightened Awareness and Preparedness: Together, the organizations will work to raise public awareness about disaster preparedness through joint initiatives, educational campaigns, and community outreach programs.

4. Training: The partnership will focus on training sessions, and workshops to equip stakeholders with the necessary skills and knowledge to respond effectively to disasters.

Ahead of extreme monsoon weather, Indonesia launches first WhatsApp Humanitarian Chatbot

Yayasan Peta Bencana, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and endorsed by Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), as part of the USAID Cognicity OSS for Next Generation Community Engagement in DRM Program, through the Investing in Human Capital for Disaster Management initiative, officially launched the first WhatsApp Humanitarian Chatbot, BencanaBot. The first-of-its-kind, AI-assisted chatbot guides Indonesian residents to submit disaster reports. These reports are mapped in real-time on a free and open source platform,, where anyone is able to view and share real-time disaster updates in order to make coordinated, evidence-based decisions about safety and response.

Floodwaters up to 3 meters high destroyed dozens of homes in North Sulawesi on Friday, and torrential rains have flooded several areas in Indonesia during the first month of the year. BMKG has issued a warning for peak rainfall across the country this week, with the monsoon season expected to continue into March. In preparation for the upcoming extreme weather and in line with BNPB’s vision of Indonesia Tangguh 2045, the launch of BencanaBot on WhatsApp is a pivotal next step in strengthening preparedness and community-led disaster risk reduction. 

“If we used to focus on disaster mitigation, now we must focus more on disaster risk reduction. In the past, it was ‘what to do,’ now it is ‘how to do,’” BNPB’s deputy for system and strategy, Raditya Jati, explained at a national seminar on strengthening disaster mitigation systems for community resilience as part of the 2022 Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Month. 

According to the IPCC report, one of the greatest barriers to adaptation is a lack of timely, locally-specific information. addresses this gap by collecting real-time updates directly from street level, soliciting resident reports through automated chatbots on social media and instant messaging apps. 

“The scale of the challenges we face today cannot be addressed by one institution alone. It is imperative to enable every single resident to be able to participate in disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts, and that is our mission at Yayasan Peta Bencana,” said Nashin Mahtani, director of Yayasan Peta Bencana. “Recognizing that during disasters people will use the applications they are already using with increased frequency, was intentionally designed to harness the use of active social media and instant messaging channels. With over 80 million active users of WhatsApp in Indonesia, the launch of BencanaBot on WhatsApp represents a new milestone in enabling residents all across the archipelago to participate in, and benefit from, this free disaster information sharing system.” 

Any resident in Indonesia can submit disaster reports anonymously by sending a message to +62-8584-BENCANA (+62-8584-2362262 or Residents can also submit reports by tweeting @petabencana, sending a Facebook message to @petabencana, or sending a telegram message to @bencanabot, and check for real-time disaster updates to navigate safely.

#ThereIsHelp: As Indonesia braces for peak monsoon flooding, a nation-wide digital media campaign led by Twitter, PetaBencana, and BNPB supports community-led climate adaptation

 As leaders convene at the G20 and UNCOP27 meetings to deliberate commitments to climate action, residents across the world are already experiencing the impacts of extreme weather and are struggling to adapt to unprecedented scales of weather-related disaster events. As Indonesia braces for peak monsoon flooding, a recently launched nation-wide digital media campaign is supporting residents to stay safe and adapt to extreme weather, from the ground-up. The #ThereIsHelp notification service was launched by Twitter, together with partners Yayasan Peta Bencana and BNPB. Now, when residents search for disaster related keywords in Indonesia, the social media site will include a notification encouraging them to click through to credible information and support provided by Twitter’s official partners, and BNPB. 

Among Indonesians, the PetaBencana Twitter bot, or “BencanaBot” has become famous for its automatic responses to any post containing disaster-related keywords. The bot asks users to confirm their situation by submitting a disaster report. These reports are mapped in real-time on a free and open source platform,, where anyone is able to view and share real-time disaster updates in order to make decisions about safety and response. Since 2013, the platform has been used by millions of residents and first responders in Indonesia to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency disaster events. Run by Yayasan Peta Bencana and supported by USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, the platform is also monitored by BNPB who use the platform to view and respond to incoming resident reports. The launch of the #ThereIsHelp feature supports the amplification of this community-based risk reduction effort, as it ensures that all Indonesians will be directed towards verified and timely information during disasters, thereby supporting greater and more effective coordination for all. 

According to BNPB Public Relations Officer Theophilus Yanuarto, who participated in a public conversation on Twitter about the #ThereIsHelp feature, discussions about disaster risk are growing in popularity in Indonesia due to the region’s susceptibility to a wide range of hazards. According to Yunuarto, tools such as PetaBencana provide critical information for the public to support community-level response and increased disaster awareness. In addition, he expressed that increased public participation in disaster information sharing is critical in reducing risk for the nation as a whole, and Yunuarto specifically pointed towards how the crowdsourced data provided on helps emergency managers at BNPB effectively respond to disasters. 

According to Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, Head of Public Policy and Philanthropy for Southeast Asia at Twitter, “Our core objective of launching this #ThereIsHelp notification search prompt is to truly help shorten the search time and to provide timely access to credible information from our partners to those in need. In collaboration with BNPB Indonesia (@BNPB_Indonesia), Peta Bencana (@PetaBencana), MERCY Malaysia (@MERCYMalaysia), and NADMA Malaysia (@mynadma), we hope this notification service can serve as a means to help the Indonesian and Malaysian public, as well as government and non-government stakeholders navigate the extreme weather that the monsoon season brings in along with other unprecedented disaster events.” 

According to Nashin Mahtani, Director of Yayasan Peta Bencana, “As extreme weather events become more frequent and severe, it is imperative that every single person is empowered to participate in disaster risk reduction and recovery efforts. During disasters, the first source people turn to is often social media. In a time of information overload, the #ThereIsHelp prompt helps to quickly direct people towards trusted and verified source of information, so that everyone is able to proactively act on their own safety and participate in the civic co-management of disasters. We celebrate the #ThereIsHelp initiative and are grateful to collaborate with our long-time partners at Twitter to ensure that all residents have easier, immediate, access to credible information during emergency situations and are aware of the ways they can participate in our shared goals of reducing risk together through digital gotong royong!”

With a historical triple La Nina this year, Indonesia is expected to receive higher than usual rainfall. We remind residents to stay informed and stay safe! Anyone in Indonesia can submit an anonymous disaster report by tweeting @petabencana, sending a telegram message to @bencanabot, or sending a facebook message to @petabencana. 


Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software, is a free, web-based platform that produces real-time disaster maps using both crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations. 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, 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, the platform has been used by millions of resident users to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency disaster 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. 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.



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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.


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Get Involved

The 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

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!

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


Contact us for current volunteer activities, or if you would like to get involved in other ways! We would love to hear from you!