District heads are expected to understand disaster potential and not be hesitant in declaring emergency response status.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Suharyanto held a meeting with all regional leaders from West Sulawesi, a province with a high risk of disasters, to discuss disaster mitigation efforts.

The meeting with all West Sulawesi regional leaders, which was held in Bali on Wednesday, aimed to improve future disaster mitigation strategies, since, in the past two years, the province has experienced the most wet hydrometeorological disasters, Suharyanto said here on Thursday.

The BNPB chief asked the province to anticipate potential floods and landslides early next year, following the current drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

"This meeting is not only to discuss the risk index, but how to mitigate it and what steps need to be taken. Hence, we can be ready when the rainy season occurs in 2024," he said.

The district/city governments must build their capability to reduce the impact of disasters by learning from past natural catastrophes, Suharyanto added.

"Earthquakes occurred in 2021 and 2022, although the 2022 one was not as big as the 2021 one, West Sulawesi has a history of earthquake occurrences. In case it happens again, we must be ready," he said.

One of the strategies for facing earthquakes is to make buildings earthquake-resistant, he observed.

He stressed that local governments must be involved in each stage of disaster mitigation in order to increase community resilience.

He said that local governments can conduct disaster response simulations, and must fulfill community needs during disasters and implement rehabilitation and reconstruction quickly.

"District heads are expected to understand disaster potential and not be hesitant in declaring emergency response status," he said.

On the same occasion, he handed over a ready-to-use fund of Rp500 million to the West Sulawesi provincial government and Rp250 million each to five districts in the province.

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Translator: Devi R, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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