Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), Suharyanto, has urged the people of Sumedang, West Java, to increase their awareness of natural disasters.

"We live in an area with abundant natural resources and also have the potential for natural disasters. This reality needs to be addressed by the community through efforts to reduce disaster risks," he said, as quoted in a statement released in Jakarta on Sunday.

During the local cultural event "Disaster Awareness Culture" (BSB) in the district on Saturday, Suharyanto hoped that the community would be aware of and understand the potential disasters around their homes.

BSB is part of a national program to educate the public about disasters through artistic performances. In Sumedang, the event has the theme "‘Alam Parantos Ngurus Urang, Pikeun Eta Urang Oge Kedah Ngajagana" (Nature Takes Care of Us, We Must Take Care of It Too).

He said that BNPB is currently working to address forest and land fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, as well as hydro-meteorological disasters such as floods and landslides in several areas of East Java and Bali.

"Even in the past two days, despite entering the peak of the dry season, flood and landslide disasters still occur," he said.

Suharyanto also called on the people of Sumedang to remember the landslide disaster in Cihanjuang Village, Cimanggung District, in early January 2021.

The disaster claimed 40 lives, including several officials and volunteers, when another landslide occurred 2 hours later.

"I hope this can be prevented in the future," he said, while asking everyone to always be alert and prepared to face disasters.

To prevent future landslide disasters, BNPB will plant 1,000 tree seedlings in Cihanjuang on Sunday (9/7).

Sumedang District is one of the areas with potential natural disaster risks. According to the book "Risiko Bencana Indonesia" (Indonesian Disaster Risk) published by BNPB in 2023, this district has several natural disaster risks such as landslides, drought, extreme weather, flash floods, liquefaction, and earthquakes.

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Translator: Devi Nindy Sari, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Anton Santoso
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