Padang (ANTARA) - National Disaster Preparedness Day serves as momentum for Indonesia to raise its people's awareness of the threats of natural disasters, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Head Suharyanto stated.

"The National Disaster Preparedness Day is meant to build awareness of disasters in Indonesia," he remarked during an event to commemorate the day, which falls every April 26 in Padang, West Sumatra, on Friday.

He said that the national day coincides with the ratification date of Law No. 24 of 2007 on disaster mitigation, Indonesia's first comprehensive legal instrument regulating disaster handling measures.

Suharyanto said he views National Disaster Preparedness Day as crucial to raising public awareness of disaster mitigation, considering that Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which makes it highly susceptible to earthquakes.

"It is said that Indonesia ranks second out of 193 countries with the highest risks of disasters. This means that National Disaster Preparedness Day is important and crucial," he affirmed.

Meanwhile, West Sumatra Governor Mahyeldi recalled a high-magnitude earthquake that had rattled the province in 2009, resulting in a huge number of casualties.

He said it took the provincial government a decade to restore normalcy in West Sumatra, with the help of the central government and international partners.

"That disaster made us realize that we were not ready to anticipate and respond to disasters," he remarked.

Mahyeldi emphasized the importance of educating students about disaster mitigation while urging the public to commemorate this year's National Disaster Preparedness Day by maintaining vigilance against the potential for natural disasters.

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Translator: Muhammad Z, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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