After the tragedy of the Sriwijaya Air plane crash in the waters of Kepulauan Seribu on Saturday (9/1), other disasters came one after another in various regions in Indonesia. A magnitude 6.2 earthquake occurred in West Sulawesi, precisely in Mamuju on January 15, destroying various buildings, including the West Sulawesi governor's office and causing dozens of deaths. This was followed by floods that hit almost the entire province of South Kalimantan, resulting in hundreds of thousands of residents forced to flee to safer areas. A day later, on January 16, there was an eruption of Mount Semeru in East Java. Of course, the lava that comes out of the mountains needs to be watched out so as not to cause casualties. To be sure, this eruption adds to the length of disaster conditions that must be watched out for and anticipated in various regions in Indonesia.
In addition, what is still of concern is the Covid-19 pandemic. In Indonesia, the number of those infected with the Covid-19 virus continues to increase. The vaccination process has indeed started. This was starting from the health workers who get the first turn to be vaccinated, followed by other Indonesian people in order of priority. Although it will take time, given the large population of Indonesia and its vast geographic conditions with so many islands, it is hoped that the vaccination process that has been planned by the government can run smoothly. Thus, the Covid-19 pandemic can be gradually overcome.
Disaster conditions are nothing new in Indonesia. Indonesia's position, which is said to be in the Ring of Fire area, because it is surrounded by active volcanoes, has indeed made the land very fertile. But at the same time, this holds the potential for seismicity and volcanic eruptions which are sometimes quite violent. Likewise with floods, it happens quite often in Indonesia.
Indonesia's readiness to face disasters is determined by a series of anticipatory steps both by the government and people. Standard evacuation procedures and education from the start will determine the number of people who are successfully mitigated in a disaster condition. Disaster infrastructures and facilities have also been prepared in disaster-prone areas, such as sirens marking the arrival of an earthquake with a certain magnitude or the readiness of the evacuation site and so on. Each region in Indonesia has already a Disaster Management Agency which is expected to be able to move synergistically with the community and various aid agencies that come from within and outside the country when dealing with disasters.
Both the earthquake in Mamuju, and the floods in South Kalimantan, still caused casualties. It seems that even though the country is ready in infrastructure, the Indonesian people are still not fully aware and trained to face disasters that have never been known when they will occur. It is everyone's responsibility to build that awareness. Hopefully, what happened in early 2021 will be a reminder for all Indonesian citizens to be more vigilant and ready to face disasters, whatever they may be.