Bandung, West Java (ANTARA) - West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil spoke about the use of toponymy for accelerating earthquake handling in Cianjur, at the 4th Meeting of the 2023 United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN).

The meeting took place in New York, the United States.

Kamil, in a written statement received here on Thursday, said that his party represented the Southeast Asia Division and spoke during Session 3 on the theme “Strengthening Relationships, Links, and Connections in Geographical Names Standardization and Sustainable Development and Pandemic Recovery.”

During the session, he made a presentation entitled “Toponym Usage in Response to the Earthquake Disaster in Cianjur Regency.” Toponymy is the study of the origin of places' names.

During the meeting, Kamil said that provincial governments, along with political and cultural stakeholders, have an important role in naming terrains using toponymy.

"Last year, our province was awarded by the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) as the most progressive province in creating toponymy big data based on an international guideline, which targets five million digital data,” he informed.

The toponymy project has helped the provincial government in preserving and restoring local wisdom, folklore, and history.

Last year, Kamil explained, the toponymy project was used to respond to the Cianjur earthquake.

According to him, the first step to dealing with the Cianjur earthquake was data collection, which could be sped up using toponymy.

"We also created serial data to distribute logistics by combining all important coordination aspects and using the toponymy data that we already had," he said.

For instance, he explained, the epicenter of the Cianjur earthquake was a village called Cieundeur. "Eundeur" means vibrate or sway.

In other words, the people of Cieundeur village have long had an awareness of earthquakes, judging from the name of their village.

With terrain data from RupaBumi or the SINAR information system application, the distribution of assistance and coordination during emergency situations can be very fast and responsive.

"I hope that in the future, geographic name data based on local wisdom can be more practical. Not only limited to naming, but also helping to achieve common goals," he said.

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Translator: Ajat S, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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