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Saturday, 10 December 2022 15:01

Learning from various disasters

Written by  Rahma
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The Indonesian nation is currently in mourning. On November 21, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 hit the Cianjur area, West Java Province. 334 people died and more than 100 thousand people were displaced by the earthquake.

Having not finished yet facing the impact of the Cianjur earthquake, Mount Semeru in East Java Province on December 4 spewed hot clouds as high as more than 5 thousand meters. Volcanic hot clouds and ash spread in the surrounding area, causing thousands of people to flee. There are even 3 hamlets buried in volcanic ash. So far, no fatalities have been reported.

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) raised the status of Mount Semeru from 'Alert' to 'Caution' or from Level III to Level IV. The public are advised not to carry out activities within a 13-kilometer radius of the eruption center, because there are fears that the hot clouds will spread more widely.

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are not strange to the people of Indonesia. Geographically, Indonesia is an archipelagic country located at the confluence of four tectonic plates, namely the Eurasian plate, the Indo-Australian Continent, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. In addition, Indonesia is located in the Ring of Fire zone where there are many active volcanoes. This geographical aspect causes Indonesia to be prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Indonesia is said to have an earthquake rate 10 times compared with the United States. In fact, Indonesia is ranked first in the threat of a tsunami according to data from the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Indonesian people are still learning from the various natural disasters that have occurred, how to prepare themselves for the impact of disasters. Maybe, the government is more prepared regarding disaster mitigation. This can be seen from the speed with which the logistical aid was distributed and the preparation of the evacuation sites. Meanwhile, the number of fatalities can also be minimized. This can be seen from the absence of reports of deaths due to the eruption of Mount Semeru. The local government, assisted by officers from the central government, the Indonesian Armed Forces –TNI, and the National Police -Polri, was swiftly able to evacuate residents from the disaster area.

But actually, the most important thing is preparing residents for disaster mitigation. They must be given knowledge that they live in an area with the potential for natural disasters. They should also be given knowledge of what to do if a disaster occurs or if there are signs that a natural phenomenon is about to occur. In this way, casualties can be avoided.

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