Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD)-Mataram Office has extended the city's disaster emergency alert status until the end of March 2024, considering the potential disaster risks of ongoing extreme weather.

"The alert status actually ended on March 16 but it has been extended until the end of March," the agency's acting head, Mahfuddin Noor, said in Mataram, the capital of West Nusa Tenggara Province, on Sunday.

If hazards with escalation potentials are predicted to occur in wider areas and cause fatalities, the disaster emergency alert status could be increased to an emergency response status, he said.

Noor said the emergency response status could be declared if flooding, caused by a river overflow, had affected four or five neighborhood units (RT) with an intensity of more than three hours.

Then the inundation had impacted locals' socio-economic activities, he said, adding that in such condition, the disaster emergency alert status could be increased to the emergency response status.

According to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Mataram City would likely experience an extreme weather condition, marked by heavy rainfall and strong winds, until 10 days starting from March 15.

"The strong winds and heavy rainfall still have chances to happen in the next few days but they will not be as powerful as those of Wednesday and Thursday (March 13-14)," he said.

The strong winds and heavy rainfall that occurred on March 13 and March 14 had toppled 27 trees, he added.

Related news: Some 158 thousand Semarang residents affected by flash floods: BPBD

Over the past three months since December 2023, several regions in Indonesia have experienced flash floods.

In Riau Province, for instance, Pelalawan District experienced a 20-year cycle of big floods from December 2023 to January 2024.

The Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) reported that Riau's flooding affected 131,834 residents and inundated 32,303 houses in six districts in the province.

The agency recorded 870 residents getting displaced in Pelalawan District, 572 in Rokan Hilir District, 424 in Indragiri Hulu District, 88 in Dumai City, 72 in Bengkalis District, and 40 in Siak District.

Then, in the second week of February 2024, residents in the subdistricts of Karanganyar, Karangawen, Kebonagung, Wonosalam, Karangtengah, Gajah, and Dempet of Demak District, Central Java, also experienced flash floods.

The leaked Wulan River embankment partly caused the flooding, inundating at least 4,000 houses and disrupting access to the main road connecting the districts of Demak and Kudus.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Head Lieutenant General Suharyanto, the Wulan River embankment has been repaired.

The repairment has been made stronger than it was prior to the recent breach.

Related news: Extreme weather leads to floods in nine villages in NTT's Malaka

Translator: Nirkomala, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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