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Eight sub-districts of Mount Lawu prone to landslides

Karanganyar, Ekuatorial – Eight sub-districts of Karanganyar district, Solo, Central Java, were categorized as high prone to landslides, said an official, in Karanganyar, on Wednesday (17/12).

The eight sub-districts, — Jatipuro, Jatiyoso, Tawangmangu, Matesih, Karangpandan, Ngargoyoso, Kerjo, and Jenawi –, were located at slopes of Mount Lawu. At least 65 people were killed because of landslide back in 2007.

“We are cooperating with Research Center for Natural Disaster of Gadjah Mada University and Sebelas Maret University to map out prone areas,” said Aji Pratama Heru, head of Karanganyar Disaster Mitigation Agency.

From eight sub-districts, Heru said, there were 14 areas were considered as highly prone to landslides, especially Guyon hamlet, Tengklik village, Tawangmangu sub-district as it was located in steep hills.

“Land subsidence in the areas has reached 20 meters deep and it’s still going on,” he said adding that the condition was worsen by high intensity rain for more than two hours. Furthermore, he said around 127 families with 279 people living underneath the land subsidence placing their lives in danger. Other locations, he said, needed for constant monitoring were Koripan village of Matesih and Plosorejo village of Kerjo.

Heru said that they have been socializing the condition in the location and also map out evacuation route. In addition, the agency had also opened 24-hours Public Service to monitor natural disasters.

He also said that they have been disseminating information on signs for landslides, such as high intensity rain for more than two hours but there were no or little water. Other signs, he said, position of trees above the hill. If the tree is still standing straight, the area is save from landslide. On the other hand, if the tree is tilted then landslide might be coming. People also need to be aware if there are rocks started to slide from the hill.

“We have installed early warning system in the location. We even installed eight early warning systems. There will be an hour and a half interval before the sound of the alarm. So, people will have time to evacuate before landslide,” he said.

Despite of located in the red-zone, those villages were not eager to be relocated for economical reasons. “If they wanted to be relocated, it means that their lands will belong to the state. And, most of them don’t want [to leave their lands],” he said. Bramantyo

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