West Bandung, West Java (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has prepared a weather modification operation to reduce rain intensity during the evacuation of landslide victims in Cibenda village, West Bandung, West Java.

"Working with the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG), we will try to reduce (rain intensity) using weather modification technology," BNPB chief Suharyanto informed here on Wednesday.

Based on the BNPB's analysis, weather modification would be sufficiently effective to reduce the high rain intensity that triggered the landslide at the location.

Once the rainfall is brought under control, he said, the joint search and rescue (SAR) team would be able to carry out the evacuation process and search for victims properly.

"Our recommendation is to conduct the weather modification operation so that rain does not come again," he added.

He informed that so far, the SAR team has only found the bodies of five of the 10 victims buried in the landslide.

"Until now, there are 10 fatalities and five bodies have been identified," he said.

Meanwhile, the acting head of the West Bandung Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), Meidi, said that due to the natural conditions, it has been difficult for the joint SAR team to find the victims.

"It is risky because it is at an altitude of 150 meters with 60–70 degrees of inclination. Hence, these risks hinder the sophisticated tools they have, so we use existing human labor," he expounded.

Currently, the team is still searching for the five other victims buried in the landslide.

"We will search until 5 p.m. local time. We are ready to return to the search the next day at 7 a.m.," Meidi informed.

Meanwhile, due to the landslide disaster, the West Bandung district government has set an emergency response status from March 25–April 14, 2024.

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Translator: Rubby P, Kenzu
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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