Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked ministers to prepare anticipatory measures against natural disasters that could occur due to extreme weather at the end of 2022.

"At the end of 2022 entering 2023, there are a number of things I would like to convey. The first is the anticipation of disasters due to extreme weather and those related to traffic safety—we must pay attention to that," he said at the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He made the statement at the start of a plenary session, which was attended by Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, ministers of the Advanced Indonesia cabinet, and a number of heads of state institutions.

The session focused on three agendas, namely, estimation of the economic situation in 2023, evaluation of COVID-19 handling, and anticipation of the food and energy crises.

"Please maximize weather information from the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) as an early warning. Disaster mitigation in all areas that have potential disasters must also be considered," the President added.

The head of state asked ministers to ensure the state's presence when a disaster occurs.

"I ask ministers to immediately provide humanitarian assistance and also start the reconstruction of buildings affected by earthquakes or other disasters," he emphasized.

The President also called for continued efforts to anticipate and mitigate COVID-19.

"Even though there has been a significant decline in COVID-19 cases from 7 thousand cases to 2,234 cases yesterday (December 5, 2022),” he added.

He then called for the acceleration of booster vaccinations to increase people's immunity.

According to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), 3,318 natural disasters occurred in Indonesia from the beginning of the year till December 4.

During the period, the most frequent natural disasters were floods (1,420), followed by extreme weather events (989), landslides (608), and forest and land fires (250). The country also recorded 25 earthquakes, 22 tidal wave/abrasion episodes, and 4 droughts.

The provinces that experienced the most natural disasters during this period were West Java (775), followed by Central Java (457) and East Java (380).

More than 5.7 million people were displaced in the disasters, while 563 people died, 8,694 were injured, and 43 went missing. The disasters also damaged 72,218 houses and 1,732 public facilities.

Meanwhile, as of December 5, the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide increased by 2,234, bringing the total number of cases recorded in Indonesia since March 2020 to 6,682,437. The number of active cases reached 48,140.

The government also reported 5,033 additional recoveries, which took the total tally to 6,474,271. In addition, in the 24 hours ended December 5, the number of deaths increased by 48 to 160,026.

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Translator: Desca Lidya N, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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