Monday, 04 February 2019 15:06

BNPB Consolidates National Potential to Deal with Disasters

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The National Disaster Mitigation Agency -BNPB held a National Coordination Meeting at East Java Expo 2019 in Surabaya, East Java on Saturday (2/2). More than 4,000 participants from the BPBD Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency throughout Indonesia and representatives from ministries, institutions, governors, regents / mayors, TNI, Polri, academics and others attended the expo. Accompanied by the Head of BNPB, Doni Monardo, Indonesian President Joko Widodo opened the National Coordination Meeting. In his remarks, the President stated that this forum was very strategic in coordinating and consolidating the strength that Indonesia has in anticipating disasters. On this occasion, President Joko Widodo delivered six points of his direction. First, spatial planning; design and construction must pay attention to disaster-prone maps. By looking at the recurring cycle of disasters, it can be seen that disaster locations are often in the same place. For example in NTB, the area hit by the earthquake in 2018 turned out to have also experienced the same occurrence in 1978. The earthquake in Palu, Central Sulawesi also happened before. Second, the involvement of academics, disaster experts and researchers must also participate to examine which point is very prone to disasters. This must be done massively. Third, if there is a disaster, the local Governor will automatically become the commander of the emergency task force along with the Regional Military Commander and the Regional Police Chief to become the deputy commanders of the task force. Fourth, an integrated early warning system based on recommendations from experts must be used, including in regional level. Learning from Japan, people did not panic when the earthquake happened. They just ran when there was a siren and knew the evacuation route. Fifth point is disaster education. This program must begin this year in disaster-prone areas for schools through teachers and religious leaders. Therefore, a warning board and evacuation routes are needed. Sixth point is to carry out simulations and disaster handling exercises regularly, to remind communities continuously down to the neighborhood level so that people are truly prepared to face disasters. Disasters might be earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, or landslides. Though admittedly, the most frequent disaster is earthquake. On the occasion, President Joko Widodo also took part in a dialogue with the participants. After that, he inspected the display of equipment for disaster management.

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