MapaKalamidad.ph, a free and open source platform for emergency response and disaster management in the Philippines, was officially launched on September 10th, 2020 during a virtual webinar titled “Digital Bayanihan! Social Media for Humanitarian Response”. The platform uses both, crowd-sourced reporting and government agency validations, to map flood events in real-time.
During the opening remarks, Joseph Curry from the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, said, “While we depend on the government to be the authoritative source on damages and needs, we also recognize that those affected have the most up to date information and have an essential role to play. MapaKalamidad.ph adds a new dimension to data and information collection by empowering citizens to directly report hazards, critical lifelines and damages in their neighbourhoods via social media apps and mobile apps. In the true spirit of bayanihan, MapaKlamidad.ph gives us a tool that everyone can use together in disaster response, potentially connecting every barangay right to the top.”
Developed by Yayasan Peta Bencana (Disaster Map Foundation), a South-east Asian based non-profit organization, the platform draws on the award-winning crowd-sourced disaster mapping platform, PetaBencana.id in Indonesia. Powered by CogniCity Open Source Software (OSS), the PetaBencana.id platform has been used by millions of resident users since 2013, to make time-critical decisions about safety and navigation during emergency flood events in Indonesia. It has also been adopted by the National Emergency Management Agency (BNPB) to monitor disaster events, improve response times, and share time-critical emergency information with residents. Having proven beyond any doubt that community-led data collection, sharing, and visualization reduces disaster risk and assists in relief efforts, CogniCity OSS has now been developed to support real-time disaster mapping for the Philippines.
Featuring talks from Gil Francis Arevalo from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Bryan Damasco from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Philippines, and Michael Vincent Mercardo from the Center of Disaster Preparedness, the webinar focused on the indispensable role of community-led response in mitigation and adaptation efforts.
In response to the launch of MapaKalamidad.ph, Asec Casiano C. Monilla from the Office of Civil Defense, said, “The contribution of social media and expansion of democratic space and public participation in govt activities and issues cannot be understated. It has been proven, time and again, that the successful disaster risk reduction and management endeavors depend on public support; co-owernship of the concepts of safety, preparedness and resilience. [MapaKalamidad.ph], which draws verified and reliable information through crowd sourcing on social media, is a very welcome development. Open mapping and information sharing through crowd sourcing enables people to not simply be audiences and recipients of systems and products, but also participants in the process of assisting communities and the government in reporting and responding to emergencies. This will translate to more lives safeguarded, properties and livelihoods protected, and development sustained.”
Now, any resident in Pampanga and Quezon City can submit a flood report anonymously by tweeting #flood or #baha @mapakalamidad, sending a Facebook message to @mapakalamidad, or sending a telegram message to @kalamidadbot. Government emergency management agencies also monitor the map to assess the disaster situation and respond to resident needs.
With current ENSO models indicating a trend towards La Nina conditions, above-normal rainfall is expected in the coming months. We remind everyone to check https://mapakalamidad.ph for up-to-date information and to stay safe!
MapaKalamidad.ph is a part of the USAID Program for ASEAN Regional and National Capacity Development for Hazard Monitoring, Early Warning, and Disaster Management Decision Support. As part of the Pacific Disaster Center’s PhilAWARE project, the project represents a multi-partner collaboration between the Philippines Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), Yayasan Peta Bencana, and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT). The project is made possible through collaboration with implementing partners Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction Mangagement Office (QCDRRMO) and Pampanga Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), and data partners Twitter and Mapbox.