Padang (ANTARA) - Minister of Human Development and Cultural Affairs, Muhadjir Effendy, urged the West Sumatra government to place natural disaster mitigation as a top priority program.

"The government and people of West Sumatra must stipulate disaster mitigation as a program of super priority," he said during the commemoration of 2024 National Disaster Preparedness Day in Padang, West Sumatra, on Friday.

Effendy noted that 10.18 percent of the total of 5,400 natural disasters that hit Indonesia last year were recorded in West Sumatra, placing it in the second position in terms of provinces with the most number of disasters after West Java.

He stated that the high frequency of disasters in West Sumatra should have prompted its government and people to stay alert and take disaster mitigation seriously.

"The government and people need to be aware of the danger and risk of disaster in West Sumatra. Without awareness, disasters will have devastating consequences," he emphasized.

Effendy stressed that a disaster mitigation super priority program should be implemented by preparing budgets at the provincial, district, and municipal levels.

He also urged regional governments in the province to incorporate lessons about disaster mitigation into the curriculum of every educational institution.

"The West Sumatra government needs to continuously raise its people's awareness about disasters," he remarked.

West Sumatra Governor Mahyeldi, for his part, cited the result of a study conducted by the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) that has shown that seven of 19 regions in the province are at risk of being hit by an earthquake and tsunami simultaneously.

In response to the study, he stated that the provincial government had determined a tsunami-safe zone that consists of blue lines, which outline the projected limit of the impact of a tsunami on the land.

"The blue lines are meant to guide people to evacuate themselves by entering the safe zone within the lines in the event of a tsunami," he remarked.

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Translator: Muhammad Z, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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