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Facebook Launches its Disaster Maps Feature in India

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Facebook on Thursday unveiled a slew of new measures, including its Disaster Maps, to help people recover and rebuild faster when facing damages from natural disasters in India. As part of this, the tech giant will make data from its Disaster Maps available to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS), a non-profit organization working in the area of disaster resilience.

The Disaster Maps feature was launched globally in June 2017 and it uses aggregated and de-identified Facebook data to enable organizations to address the critical gap in information they often encounter when responding to natural disasters.

Ritesh Mehta, Head of Programmes, India, South and Central Asia at Facebook said about the new development: “In times of disaster, our platform is a valuable source of information – whether it’s letting your friends and family know you are safe with Safety Check feature or using Facebook to raise donations for relief efforts. Through our work with the National Disaster Management Authority and the roll out of Disaster Maps in India and the disaster information volunteers initiative, we hope we can help communities get the information they need to prepare, respond and recover if disaster strikes.”

“NDMA is proactively utilising social media for awareness generation. This is an important benchmark towards integrating social media with disaster response activities. I am sure this partnership will open new avenues for using mobile technology in disaster situation,” said RK Jain, Member, NDMA, on this new development.

Manu Gupta, Director, SEEDS, added: “The disaster information volunteer network and Facebook’s Disaster Maps will play a key role in helping us get the right help to the right people at the right time.”

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