Bantul, Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) is planning to hold the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX) with other ASEAN countries in Bantul, Yogyakarta.

"Today, the (Bantul) District Head received us to report on the planned activities of 2023 ARDEX, a disaster mitigation exercise for ASEAN countries, as part of Indonesia's commitment as ASEAN Chair this year," BNPB Chief Secretary Lilik Kurniawan explained here on Wednesday.

According to Kurniawan, the 2023 ARDEX is planned to be held from July 31 to August 3 outside the Sultan Agung Stadium in Bantul.

"It has been programmed, and we chose Bantul to be the training venue because it has the capacity to support it and has the most number of volunteers in Yogyakarta Province, which is about three thousand people from the disaster mitigation community," he remarked.

In addition, Kurniawan said, the disaster resilient village program is applied in almost all villages of Bantul.

This year's ARDEX will be part of the exercise commemorating the 17th anniversary of the 2006 earthquake in Bantul.

"Now, Bantul already has the contingency plan that we will test together. We expect all ASEAN countries to attend, with at least each country sending five to 10 people. With 10 countries, it means that between 50 and 100 people will come to exercise together," he remarked.

He revealed that the BNPB will also invite countries that are Indonesia's partners in disaster mitigation, such as Australia, the US, Japan, and Switzerland, as well as other regions as observers.

Furthermore, he noted that the BNPB has been working to design the different types of activities for the four days of the exercise that will be adjusted to the existing contingency plan.

"We have received the district head's support to carry out the program because we have to involve the resources in Bantul, from facilities and infrastructure, such as the stadium and others, and regional mitigation agencies (BPBD), the health office, volunteers, and forums," he stated.

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Translator: Hery S, Kenzu
Editor: Sri Haryati
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