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Jakarta Post

Number of natural disasters hit 14-year high in 2016

  • Fachrul Sidiq

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 29, 2016   /  07:23 pm
Number of natural disasters hit 14-year high in 2016 On alert -- National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho presents a year-end report in a press conference at the agency's headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday. (JP/Fachrul Sidiq)

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said on Thursday that 2,342 natural disasters had been recorded in Indonesia this year, the highest figure in 14 years.

“It’s a new record, the highest since 2002,” said BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho when he presented a year-end report at the BNPB headquarters in Jakarta.

He further said 766 of the total calamities were floods, followed by whirlwinds and landslides, which ranked second and third with 669 and 612 cases, respectively. The disasters claimed 522 lives, displaced more than 3 million people and damaged 69,287 houses and 2,311 public facilities in areas across the archipelago.

By way of comparison, Sutopo said Indonesia was hit by 1,732 natural disasters in 2015, lower than the 1,967 in 2014, 1,674 in 2013 and 1,811 in 2012.

“This year, there has been an uncertain period of dry and wet seasons, which have led to an escalating figure for natural disasters. Even during what was supposed to be the peak of our dry season, floods and landslides still occurred,” Sutopo said. Bandung in West Java, Bima in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and Pangkal Pinang in Bangka Belitung were among the areas prone to flooding, he went on.

Sutopo said raising public awareness on an effective disaster risk management was imperative to prevent, and mitigate the impact of, disasters in the future because millions of Indonesian people were currently living in disaster-prone areas. (ebf)   

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