West Papua natural disasters – The risks of disasters are obvious. Warnings have also been issued. Please do not undermine the risks of disasters. We must be prepared for them
Manokwari, West Papua (ANTARA) – The West Papua Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) urged residents and authorities to remain vigilant about flash floods and landslides that could occur after a heavy downpour in many parts of the province until March 2020.
“Referring to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG’s) data, the rainfall will reach its peak from this month to March,” the agency’s head, Derek Ampnir, said in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua Province, Monday. In anticipating the risks of floods and landslides, Ampnir called on residents and authorities in vulnerable areas, such as Manokwari, South Manokwari, Wondama Cape, Arfak Highland, and Sorong city, to be well prepared.
All necessary measures needed in disaster management, including prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery need to be in place to minimize the unexpected impacts of a catastrophe, he said.
“The risks of disasters are obvious. Warnings have also been issued. Please do not undermine the risks of disasters. We must be prepared for them,” Ampnir said.
The district and city disaster mitigation agencies will function as leading parties in addressing the risks of disasters, he said, adding that Arfak highland is prone to flooding and landslides and sound coordination is the need of the hour.
In April 2019, floods, arising from a continual torrential downpour, inundated numerous homes and a school in Sorong city. A local resident named Andy noted that, at that time, parts of the city did get inundated during the rainy season.
Those bearing the brunt of the floods were residential areas on Jupiter and Sungai Maruni streets. Tens of homes on Meltai Street and an area on Sapta Taruna Street were submerged in floodwaters reaching heights of an adult’s knee.
An elementary school building located on Melati Street was also submerged.
Andy appealed to the Sorong administration to solve the problem of recurrent flooding in the city.
Meanwhile, on March 16, 2019, a flash flood impacted Sentani in Papua Province and affected the nearby areas, including the sub-districts of Waibu, West Sentani, Ravendirta, and Depapre.
A total of 112 people lost their lives, 2,287 homes incurred damages, and material losses amounting to Rp506 billion were incurred as a result.
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