The potential catastrophes and occurrences of natural disasters tend to rise with every passing year
Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed gratitude to workers of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and its regional offices nationwide for their dedication to assist and mitigate those severely affected by catastrophes.

"I know that anytime disasters strike, you all are ready for being deployed to rescue and mitigate our people. In this opportunity, I want to thank you," he remarked while addressing the participants of BNPB's national coordinating meeting here on Tuesday.

Despite the hard work and dedication of BNPB workers and other volunteers in helping the people in disaster zones, President Jokowi reiterated the need to reduce the socio-economic sufferings of both those affected and the state.

The potential catastrophes and occurrences of natural disasters tend to rise with every passing year. As a result, people are prone to social and economic losses owing to damage to infrastructure facilities and ongoing threats of climate change and human factors.

Hence, President Jokowi highlighted the significance of finding permanent solutions related to preventive and mitigation efforts. Thus, Indonesia can prevent or at least significantly reduce the potential occurrences of disasters.

As a precautionary measure against the paramount impact of tsunami, for instance, planting mangrove seeds in coastal areas is deemed necessary. "In my recent visit to Sukajaya Sub-district in Bogor District, I had also emphasized the need to halt the recurrence of landslides," he noted.

To this end, President Jokowi highlighted the significance of conducting soil rehabilitation and replanting trees with solid and multiple trunks there.

Harkat Jaya Village in Sukajaya Sub-district, Bogor District, is one of the areas in West Java Province that bore the maximum brunt of this early January's catastrophe.

According to BNPB's spokesman, Agus Wibowo, flash floods and landslides swamped a wide range of areas in various sub-districts in the provinces of Jakarta, West Jakarta, and Banten.

The flash floods, caused by high-intensity rainfall in early January, submerged several areas of 18 sub-districts in Bekasi District, 17 sub-districts in Jakarta, and 13 sub-districts in Bogor District and Tangerang City respectively.

The disaster also affected 12 sub-districts in Bekasi City; 11 sub-districts in Depok City; and six sub-districts in Lebak District, Bogor City, and Tangerang Selatan City respectively, Wibowo stated.

Consequently, floodwaters, submerging houses, led to the forced displacement of 149,537 residents of Bekasi City in West Java Province. They were accommodated at 97 temporary shelters, while 11,474 Jakartans also took refuge and stayed at 66 temporary shelters.

The catastrophe had also claimed at least 60 lives and resulted in two others going missing, Wibowo added.


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Translator: Rangga PAJ, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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