Mar. 2 - Indonesia bore witness to 657 natural disasters in the year ending March 1, 2012, that claimed 271 lives, rendered 11 missing, and inflicted injuries to 12,131 people, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
The natural disasters comprised 304 incidents of flooding, 141 incidents of whirlwinds, 130 incidents of landslides, 12 instances of earthquakes, 58 incidents of forest and land fires, 11 incidents of high tides or abrasions, and one occurrence of drought, the BNPB noted in a written statement released on Monday.
The agency reported that 3,421,871 people were affected and had to seek refuge owing to the natural disasters.
The natural disasters caused damage to 53,287 houses, of which 4,816 incurred serious damage, 5,765 suffered moderate damage, and 42,705 experienced light damage.
The BNPB also reported damage caused to 854 educational facilities, 650 places of worship, 182 health facilities, 288 offices, and 88 bridges.
Most of the natural disasters occurred in West Java, reaching 159, followed by 110 in Central Java, 88 in East Java, 52 in Aceh, 36 in West Nusa Tenggara, 28 in Banten, 21 in Riau, 16 in South Kalimantan, 15 in West Kalimantan, and 14 each in Central Kalimantan, West Sumatra, and North Sulawesi.
Moreover, eight natural disasters occurred in North Maluku; seven each in Riau Islands, South Sumatra, and Bali; six each in Lampung, Jakarta, East Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, Papua, and East Kalimantan; five in West Sulawesi; four in Bengkulu; three each in North Sumatra, Bangka Belitung Islands, and Maluku; two in Central Sulawesi; and one each in Yogyakarta, Southeast Sulawesi, West Papua, Gorontalo, and North Kalimantan.
Hydrometeorological disasters, such as floods, landslides, and whirlwinds, occurred simultaneously in several parts of the country during the peak of the ongoing rainy season that usually commences in September or October and ends in March or April.
"Since October 2020, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had issued early warnings of potential extreme weather-related conditions due to various phenomena feared to coincide with the rainy season," BMKG Head Dwikorita Karnawati had stated recently.
The major disasters to strike in January 2021 were landslides in Sumedang, West Java, on January 9; a 6.2-magnitude earthquake in West Sulawesi on January 15; and massive flooding in South Kalimantan, starting January 12.
Torrential rains and unstable soil caused a series of landslides in Sumedang, claiming 19 lives, leaving 11 others missing, injuring 18 others, and displacing over one thousand local residents. Rescuers were also among the deceased.
In West Sulawesi, the earthquake that hit the districts of Mamuju and Majene on January 15, 2021, claimed at least 105 lives; displaced thousands of people; and destroyed homes, infrastructure, and public facilities. (Antaranews)