House speaker calls for vigilance against natural disasters

House speaker calls for vigilance against natural disasters

Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Bambang Soesatyo (right). (Doc. ANTARA PHOTO/MUHAMMAD IQBAL)

Jakarta, (ANTARA News)- Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) Bambang Soesatyo has called for vigilance against possible natural disasters.

Every district and city administration must consolidate and coordinate its disaster mitigation office (BPBD) to anticipate natural disasters, he said in a statement here, Sunday.

"Every regional head whose region is prone to natural disaster must remain vigilant and cautious. Every element in BPBD must begin consolidation and anticipation," he said.

He urged anticipatory measures following a series of earthquakes in Banda, Bengkulu, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and the Sunda Strait on Jan 10 and 11, 2019.

Moreover, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has warned that there is a potential tsunami in the Sunda Strait.

"Besides earthquakes, several volcanoes have been erupting, such as Mount Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait, Mount Agung in Bali, and Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta. In addition to, whirlwinds have also been reported in several regions," he stated.

The earthquakes and volcano eruptions so far did not pose serious threats, but the House Speaker asked the local governments to remain vigilant and prepared.

The local disaster mitigation officers must actively communicate with BMKG officers to minimize the number of victims of natural disasters such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, and volcano eruptions, he said.

On Dec 22, 2018, Mount Anak Krakatau erupted and a huge part of its southern flank collapsed and slid into the ocean.

The flank collapse triggered a tsunami that killed at least 437 people and rendered 23 others missing in five districts in Lampung and Banten Provinces.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, as it is located on the "Pacific Ring of Fire" where a large number of volcanoes and earthquakes occur.

During the January-December 2018 period, a total of 2,427 natural disasters hit Indonesia, leaving at least 4,821 people dead or missing, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB).

Reporting by Imam Budilaksono, Fardah A.