Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has asked the Banten administration to strengthen its disaster mitigation system, taking note of the potential for a strong earthquake and tsunami in Cilegon city.

The mitigation system could be developed and strengthened by preparing evacuation facilities, along with regular disaster risk reduction education and drills for residents, the agency's head, Dwikora Karnawati, said.

Among the facilities needed to strengthen the government and people's response capacity are earthquake and tsunami warning sirens, evacuation sites, a command center, and disaster response route signs, she informed.

In this regard, education regarding disaster risk reduction and drills should routinely be organized for people and operators of industrial and tourist sites, she said in a statement that ANTARA received here on Wednesday.

Karnawati also suggested that the Banten provincial government develop facilities that help local residents get access to credible sources of information on quick disaster preparedness.

The information facilities that need to be developed include radio and other communication networks, as well as direct access to the BMKG's warning system on earthquakes and tsunamis, she added.

"A standard operating procedure document is also indispensable. All related agencies, including regional governments, industries, hospitals, and tourism operators, should be involved in drafting it," she said.

Multiparty involvement in drafting the SOP document is needed because catastrophic events following any megathrust earthquake and tsunami could have a major impact on Cilegon city and its nearby areas, Karnawati explained.

For reducing fatality risks, disaster drills should be organized regularly for community members, particularly those living in coastal and seaport areas, to make them well prepared, she said.

"The disaster drills cannot be given sporadically. Instead, they must be conducted routinely to enable residents to be well prepared anytime a natural disaster strikes," she added.

The BMKG had earlier warned the Banten administration of the potential for a strong earthquake and tsunami in the province's industrial city of Cilegon.

The city's level of vulnerability to the impact of a strong earthquake and tsunami is high as it is located on the edge of Sunda Strait on the western end of Java Island, Karnawati said.

Referring to the BMKG's modeling, if a strong earthquake occurs in the Sunda Strait Megathrust Zone, its magnitude could reach 8.7, she highlighted.

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Translator: Devi NSR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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