We never expect a disaster to happen, but we still have to be vigilant.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The development of Padang Beach must pay attention to the strengthening of coastal vegetation to reduce abrasion, acting head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BNPB’s) Center for Disaster Data, Information, and Communication, Abdul Muhari, stressed.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, he said that one of the efforts to mitigate abrasion at Padang Beach is to build an offshore breakwater.

“Naturally, with an offshore breakwater, which is built parallel to the coastal area, a tombolo or sand sediment will be formed," he noted during a discussion in the courtyard of Al-Hakim Mosque, Padang City, West Sumatra Province, on Monday (February 6, 2023).

Later, the sand sediment can be planted with vegetation, such as mangroves and Australian pine trees, which can prevent abrasion and mitigate the impact of tsunamis.

"The development of physical infrastructure is only for short term (solution) in 50–70 years because physical infrastructure will be damaged over time. However, tsunami may occur in a period of 50 to hundreds of years. Meanwhile, vegetation will grow stronger over time to withstand the waves," the BNPB official explained.

There are some wave patterns at beaches. For instance, waves usually carry sand sediments in a direction perpendicular to the coast during the west and east monsoon seasons, he noted.

Meanwhile, during the transitional season, the longshore current carries the sediment along the coast.

"We have to map these patterns and characteristics one by one to determine what kind of coastal protection (infrastructure)will be effective in preventing abrasion," Muhari emphasized.

Padang City’s coastline measures 68.13 kilometers (km) in length, hence the establishment of infrastructure that can protect the coastal area of the city is important since the city contributes to 25.7 percent of West Sumatra’s economy, head of the province’s Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda), Medi Iswandi, said.

The Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry will prioritize the development of coastal infrastructure around Al-Hakim Mosque in 2023, director general of water resources at the ministry, Jarot Widyoko, said.

"We will build a 500-meter revetment along Padang Beach. Apart from (constructing infrastructure on) the beach, we will also normalize the river in Batang Kandis," he said.

Padang Mayor Hendri Septa said the city’s residents really require assistance from the central government to mitigate the impacts of abrasion and tsunamis along Padang Beach.

"We never expect a disaster to happen, but we still have to be vigilant,” he added.

Related news: Kalla shares knowledge on strengthening disaster mitigation in Padang
Related news: Two aircraft, one helicopter deployed for disaster mitigation drill

Translator: Devi Ramadhan, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2023