The Jakarta Post
People who live near rivers or in hilly areas should be on the alert for landslides and floods during the expected peak of the rainy season in December and January, an official warned on Tuesday.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said floods and landslides were likely to occur in December and January, when rainfall typically intensifies.
According to Sutopo, the regions most vulnerable to flooding include Sumatra's east and Java's north coast, the entire coastline of Kalimantan and river valleys and basins.
"As depicted in Indonesia's flood-threat maps, around 315 regents and municipalities are vulnerable to floods, encompassing a total of 63.7 million inhabitants," he said as quoted by the Cabinet Secretariat website setkab.go.id.
According to the maps, meanwhile, areas susceptible to landslides include 274 regencies and municipalities in mountainous or hilly areas, with a total population of 40.9 million people.
The BNPB urged people to be vigilant for disasters .Natural landslide warning signs, Sutopo said, included muddy water in wells, cracked soil and land tremors.
He warned people to flee if rocks began to tumble from hillsides, if water burst in jets from ground fissures, if trees were seen floating in rivers or if waterways dried, even after rain.
To prevent secondary flood-related accidents, Sutopo also called on homeowners to ensure their houses were safe, explaining that if water began to enter, the power should be turned off, hazardous liquids should be stored safely to ensure they did not mix with the water and plans should be made for alternative shelter.
The BNPB has allocated Rp 150 billion in anticipation of floods and landslides over the next couple of months.
The agency's data show that floods in Jakarta last year caused Rp 5 trillion worth of losses, while floods and landslides in 16 regents and municipalities in Central Java cost Rp 2.01 trillion and flash floods in North Sulawesi cost Rp 1.4 trillion. (rin)
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