Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has asked all regional heads, such as governors, district heads, and mayors, to immediately declare an emergency alert status for drought.

Head of the BNPB Disaster Data, Information, and Communication Center, Abdul Muhari, said here on Monday that the declaration of the emergency alert status does not have to wait until more areas experience drought.

"It is necessary to immediately declare an emergency alert status for drought, even though it is still potential; which is indicated by natural signs like reduced rainfall or days without rain for more than three/seven days," he informed at the "Disaster Briefing" online broadcast.

According to him, the sooner the disaster alert status is declared, the better it will be because then the BNPB could help local governments in efforts to prevent or control drought.

The prevention and control efforts prepared by BNPB include the distribution of clean water, logistics for basic needs, and even weather modification to make it rain.

"Interventions can be made after the regional government declares an emergency alert status, and can reduce the impact of drought on agricultural and household activities and so on," he said.

He then expressed the hope that regions will declare an emergency status in the next week.

Based on the BNPB's analysis, if the time period is exceeded, control efforts such as weather modification would become more tricky because the nation would have entered the peak of the dry season and minimal rain clouds could be maximized for such efforts.

The dry season is predicted to occur from June to September 2024.

"Most regions in Java island have experienced drought and local regions there have declared the status. Regional heads in the islands of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra, and others, must also pay attention to it," Muhari said.

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Translator: M Riezko, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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