TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesia has recorded a total of 154 natural disasters in the first three weeks of 2021, as per data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
“(The disasters) were mostly floods, storms, and landslides,” spokesperson for BNPB’s COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito, said at an online press conference originating from the BNPB building in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The disasters claimed 140 lives and left 776 people injured, he informed.
“The current high rainfall coupled with extreme weather has caused floods in several areas, including Malang and Puncak, Bogor,” he said.
The occurrence of the disasters suggests that Indonesia is geographically and geologically vulnerable to natural disasters, he added.
"It is the obligation of the Indonesian people, particularly those living in disaster-prone areas, to mitigate the impact of natural disasters and stay alert for disasters, in accordance with the Home Affairs Ministry's circular. Regional governments are also expected to be able to increase vigilance and use all energy to prevent disasters," Adisasmito said.
Since early this year, President Joko Widodo has visited the disaster-affected districts of Mamuju in West Sulawesi province, which bore the brunt of a 6.2-magnitude earthquake, and Banjar in South Kalimantan, which was severely hit by floods.
The floods hit the districts of Bangka Belitung; Bener Meriah, Aceh Timur, Jember, Jombang, Sampang, Sidoarjo, Indramayu, Polewali Mandar, Tasikmalaya, Nunukan, Halmahera Utara, Maluku Utara, Kolaka Utara, Solok Selatan, and Bintan.
While whirlwinds hit the districts of Cirebon, Natuna, landslides were reported in Batam, Cianjur, Sumedang, Manado, and Lues.