Jakarta (ANTARA) - Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), Admiral Yudo Margono, has said that TNI is ready to support and assist efforts to handle forest and land fires.

"We already had a discussion to help the government and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) extinguish forest and land fires," Margono informed at TNI Headquarters on Friday.

Given the prevailing El Niño condition, forest and land fires have become a serious concern in a number of areas, especially Kalimantan, Jambi, and Riau, he noted.

El Niño is a natural phenomenon that can pose weak to moderate threats, such as potentially disrupting water supply and causing drought and a decline in agricultural food production.

Besides deploying personnel to handle fires, TNI is also ready to help douse forest and land fires using weather modification technology (TMC), the admiral said.

"We have tried this two months ago. We will carry out all efforts to extinguish the fires during this dry season," he affirmed.

Margono said that he has also instructed his staff in the regions to handle forest and land fires.

"I have conveyed this to the regional military commander, military resort command, military district command, navy base, and air force base to collaborate in this matter," he disclosed.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has predicted that El Niño, or the phenomenon of warming sea surface temperatures (SML) above normal conditions in the central Pacific Ocean, will continue until next year.

"The peak of El Niño occurred in September. However, we also analyzed the latest satellite data, which showed that the intensity of El Niño in October has not decreased," head of BMKG, Dwikorita Karnawati, said on October 3, 2023.

As of October 3, the BNPB has carried out 244 weather modifications, spreading a total of 341,580 kilograms of salt.

In the past two months, BNPB has carried out TMC in Riau, West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara, West Java, Jambi, Jakarta, South Kalimantan, and South Sumatra.

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Translator: Cahya Sari, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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