We will try our best to find them.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and the Government of Riau Province agreed to conduct weather modification along with other institutions to further support search and rescue (SAR) efforts at the landslide-affected Serasan Sub-district.

Head of BNPB Lieutenant General Suharyanto noted in a statement on Wednesday that the search, rescue, and evacuation attempts had been hindered by bad weather, as light to heavy rains had fallen in the region almost all day in the past week.

"Due to the hampering weather and continuous rain, sometimes it (the SAR attempt) is (temporarily) halted," he noted.

Hence, he stated that BNPB, in collaboration with the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), and the Indonesian Air Force, will conduct weather modification in the sub-district located on Serasan Island.

"Thus, the weather can be clear, and the SAR attempt can be continued,” the BNPB head remarked.

He urged the joint SAR team to prioritize search for the missing victims of the landslide that hit Genteng Hamlet, Pangkalan Village, Serasan Sub-district, Natuna District, Riau Province, on Monday (March 6, 2023).

He noted that 35 residents were still declared missing, and it is suspected that they are buried in the avalanche material up to four meters deep.

"We will try our best to find them," Suharyanto, who had left for Natuna District from Jakarta on Tuesday (March 7, 2023), stated.

He noted that the number of joint SAR team personnel, comprising the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), military, police, and volunteers, would be increased on account of the vast disaster-affected area.

“The number of military and police officers even continues to be increased. Hundreds of the police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Corps personnel and sniffer dogs (will also be sent) to help the joint SAR team," he remarked.

The governments of Riau Province and Natuna District have planned to relocate over 100 families living around the disaster-affected area. The landslide had claimed the lives of 15 people and caused 1,300 people to take refuge.

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Translator: Devi Ramadhan, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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