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More natural disasters in 2015, predicts Indonesia’s disaster agency

Jakarta, Ekuatorial – Indonesia’s national disaster mitigation agency, or BNPB, predicted that floods, landslides, drought, forest fires, and tornado, would most likely to happen again in 2015, said an official, on Tuesday (30/12).

Based on BNPB record on 2014, 99 percent of disasters happened in Indonesia were related to weather changes or hydro-meteorological disasters.

Dodi Ruswandi, BNPB secretary said that floods, landslides, and tornadoes would occur on April, meanwhile peaks for floods and landslides will be on January to February.

“For prevention and mitigation plans, we will be focusing on landslide because it killed more lives, nearly 61 percent,” said Ruswandi adding that these disasters will be increasing in 2015.

BNPB recorded 1,475 cases with a total of 561 casualties in 2014, of which 413 cases of landslides and killed 343 people. Around 274 districts/cities which accounts for 40.9 million were categorized as medium-high areas prone to landslides. Meanwhile, floods would likely to hit 315 districts/cities with a total of 63.7 million people. These disasters have also resulted to 2.65 million people evacuated from their houses, 50,883 houses damaged, 430,000 houses were inundated, and hundreds of public facilities broke down. The loss is estimated to reach trillions of rupiah.

Besides floods and landslides, BNPB also predicted land and forest fires to occur between April to September this year. At least eight provinces are projected to be facing land and forest fires, which are North Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan.

“For drought, it will hit Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, and other water deficit areas between August and October,” said Ruswandi adding that BNPB had already allocated Rp 370 billion (US$29 million) in 2015 as preparation fund to anticipate these disasters. These funding will be prioritized for high prone areas, such as West Java with 290 cases, Central Java with 272 cases, East Java with 213 cases, Aceh with 51 cases, and South Sumatra with 48 cases in 2014.

“The most important thing is prevention and reducing impacts of these disasters by building early warning system, socialization, and increase awareness,” he said. “Of course, we also require for efficient and effective technology aplication.”
Januar Hakam

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