"We call on the people living in disaster-prone areas to remain ready to face unexpected catastrophes," Acting Head of the Central Java Disaster Mitigation Agency Sarwa Pramana noted here on Monday.
One of the activities to be conducted regularly at night is neighborhood patrolling, he remarked, adding that landslides leading to casualties tend to occur frequently in the evenings, so regular patrols are necessary.
"If landslides occur at night, they tend to be fatal. I am afraid of falling asleep, and no one is conducting regular patrols at night," he pointed out.
Hence, regular neighborhood patrols during which kentongan, a traditional bamboo bell, is struck at night could alert the community members of the occurrences of landslides earlier, Pramana remarked.
"I do believe that the sound of the `kentongan` can immediately be an early warning for the people regarding the occurrence of a landslide, which is always preceded by mud roar," he pointed out.
In addition to the regular neighborhood patrols, the provincial disaster mitigation agency has installed tens of early-warning devices in disaster-prone areas, he stated.
Several areas in Central Java, including the districts of Wonosobo, Purworejo, Banjarnegara, Cilacap, Kebumen, Pemalang, Kudus, Karanganyar, and Brebes, are vulnerable to landslides.
On January 18, 2019, a landslide buried a road section in Gesing Hamlet, Krasak Village, Salaman Sub-district, Magelang District, Central Java Province, crippling vehicular flow to and from Purworejo District.
According to Acting Head of the Magelang Disaster Mitigation Agency Edy Susanto, the landslide buried the Magelang-Purworejo road section at around 2:30 a.m. local time on Friday (Jan 18) after heavy rains lashed the area for hours since Thursday afternoon.
The Magelang-Purworejo road section is the only road accessible to drivers and motorists keen on travelling to and from the two districts.
Due to heavy rainfall, landslides also ripped off Gejiwan Hamlet in Krasak Village, Salaman Sub-district, blocking the hamlet`s road, as well as Krambetan Hamlet in Jogomulyo Village, Tempuran Sub-district, damaging a house.
Reporting by Wisnu Adhi Nugroho