Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - Regional leaders must broadly understand the potential for disasters in their areas and channel preventive and precautionary efforts against likely impacts, National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Head Lieutenant General TNI Doni Monardo stated.

"District heads/mayors, sub-district heads, and village heads must be able to identify and assess the potential threat of disasters in their respective regions," he noted after meeting East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa at the Grahadi State Building in Surabaya, Thursday night (July 11).

Monardo opined that identification and assessment of the potential and threat of disaster is part of the preparatory steps to prevent and take precautionary measures to handle the impact of disasters.

Once the potential for disasters is identified in their areas, he noted that the regional leaders must formulate a prevention and mitigation strategy targeting a reduction in the victim count and losses owing to disasters.

"The best public service is how the country provides protection to the people and saves lives," he stated.

In a bid to increase the level of preparedness in preventing and handling disasters, the BNPB has taken several steps, including implementing a disaster resilient village expedition (Destana) program that encompasses raising awareness and offering training at the family level.

Monardo pointed to the need to apply special strategies in remote areas yet untouched by technology to deliver early warnings for disasters, for instance, by urging residents to place items that fall easily at certain spots in their houses to mark earthquakes.

"As soon as an earthquake hits, the tin item would fall, thereby indicating that the person had to flee home immediately. This was done particularly at night or when we slept," he noted.

Monardo stated that no technology had yet been devised to estimate earthquakes.

"However, knowledge continues to increase. It is expected that in future, technology would accurately forecast the occurrence of earthquakes. However, so far, we have yet to achieve that level of accuracy. It is just that we are heading in that direction," he added.

Related news: Agency asks regions to prepare weather anomaly plans
Related news: East Java Governor orders authorities to handle flood-affected areas
Related news: BPBD records 240 forced displacements of residents following quake

Translator: Fiqih Arfani/Eliswan Azly
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019