Jakarta (ANTARA) - Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) Head Dwikorita Karnawati reiterated the importance of building critical infrastructure in coastal areas to survive natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis.

"The government's agenda is to proceed with infrastructure development as well as economic transformation. It means that infrastructure built along the coastal areas prone to tsunami must be strengthened, else the plan to continue infrastructure development will not be materialized," Karnawati stated during a workshop here on Wednesday.

The workshop, organized by BMKG in cooperation with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), is aimed at improving the capability of ports and airport operators to follow up on tsunami early warnings.

The former rector of Gadjah Mada University stated that the workshop will serve as a forum for knowledge sharing among countries that have prepared transportation infrastructure to survive earthquakes and tsunamis.

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Karnawati stated that 59.5 million kilometers of the Indonesian coastline in 26 provinces and 249 cities are susceptible to tsunami. The government has conducted sea toll development along the line deemed vital for the country's economic growth.

Karnawati cited the example of the New Yogyakarta International Airport in Kulonprogo that has been equipped with the mechanism for mitigation in disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

"Before the construction (of the airport) began, risk assessment was conducted. The terminal and runway were designed to survive a magnitude-8.8 earthquake and tsunamis towering 10-15 meters high," she stated.

The airport already existing near the coastline will be equipped with a sufficient system as a precautionary measure against disasters, she added.

Translator: Prisca TV, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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