Hundreds of West Papua's Villages Prone to Landslides, Floods



Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The West Papua Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) recorded over 800 villages and sub-districts in the region had the potential of landslides and floods.

    The agency's head, Derek Ampnir, said in Manokwari, Friday, Oct. 25, that his side had obtained data on potential disasters throughout  the city.

    “[We have a full] catalog starting from the locations, coordinate points, up to the areas' vulnerability levels. The highest potential of a landslide is found in Pegunungan Arfak Regency, while the highest potential of floods is in Wondama Bay, followed by Manokwari, Sorong, Bintuni Bay, and several other areas,” said Ampnir.

    Ampnir then ordered all regional heads of 13 regencies/cities to immediately declare a disaster alert status beginning today until March 2020.

    “The BMKG has released a notice about the weather. So, all regional BPBDs must immediately make a move and coordinate with regents/mayors to declare the alert status during the rainy season,” Derek added.

    The public was also called on to be vigilant and wary of weather changes as well as potential disasters, either floods or landslides.

    “Keep the environment clean, do not litter into the gutter as it may trigger flooding. Gutters are not dumpsters," he underlined.

    As for the people living near river areas, Derek went on, they must be aware and able to read natural signs of disasters and be prepared for independent evacuations should a disaster occurs.

    "We will certainly be there, but the first step of rescue when a disaster happens is of course from the people themselves," he said.