Disaster agency to control rainfall end of this year

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) will control the level of rainfall in Jakarta between December and March to avert a flood, said BNPB`s Head of Public Relation and Information Center Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

"We will manage clouds that can potentially cause rain in the Jakarta area. We will decrease rainfall in the December - March period to avoid a flood," said Nugroho here on Friday.

He said the agency has received funds to the tune of RP18 billion from the Regional Government Budget (APBD) for weather management.

BNPB will divert rain-bearing clouds away from Jakarta and force them to shed their moisture in the sea, Nugroho said. This would help reduce the intensity of rainfall on the mainland, he added.

Such a cloud modification effort can reduce the intensity of rainfall by up to 30-70 percent, BNPB noted.

"We had conducted one such effort at the beginning of 2013 and managed to modify the weather successfully. We dealt with clouds in such a way that all the rainwater did not fall at the same time. We also diverted rain to areas that are not prone to floods," Nugroho said.

He said Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo will issue an emergency alert statement in anticipation of floods during the peak rainy season in December.

"The Governor will issue an emergency statement if the flood occurs in January," he said.

The main disaster mitigation effort will focus on ways to conduct search operations, rescue victims, and look after the flood-hit people.

The BNPB will also coordinate with the governments of West Java province and Banten province to monitor the flood situation.

"Floods in Jakarta are related to the Banten and W Java areas as both provinces account for 70 percent of the water flow to Jakarta," Nugroho said.