Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia
Indonesia’s location in the midst of the ring of fire appears to be both a blessing and a curse. As there are many volcanoes scattered all over Indonesia, the lands surrounding the volcanoes are incredibly fertile. In turn, this condition benefits Indonesia in agricultural produce for it is easier for plants to grow and prosper. On the other hand, this condition is a curse for the citizens of Indonesia because volcanoes can easily cause many natural disasters such as eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, and wildfires among many others.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reports that there are more than 1500 disasters that happened in the first half of 2020. Even though the number is lower compared to the 2200+ disasters in the same period last year, the disaster had injured more than 270 people, displaced 2.3 million residents, and ended 206 lives. Between January to June 2020, BNPB notes that there are 620 floods, 425 tornadoes, 330 landslides, and 139 wildfires. Not only these disasters devastate people, it can cause harm to Indonesia’s social-economic condition. The disasters can cause so much economic loss due to the damage inflicted upon buildings, roads, and many others.
As humans, there is nothing much we can do to prevent a natural disaster from happening. After all, it’s out of our hands. As citizens, we cannot do much either due to the scale of a natural disaster that is too big for us to handle. The government has to step up and create a coherent disaster mitigation plan that can ensure our safety. However, there are still things that we can do to mitigate the damage of natural disasters:
- To save lives, we can pay attention to our location. If you are living under the foot of a mountain, there are more risks of volcano eruptions, landslides, earthquakes, and wildfires. If you live near a river or a beach, the risks of floods, drought, and tsunamis are things that you need to pay attention to. If your living place is prone to disasters, find out your area’s local mitigation plan such as where is the nearest shelter and what are the possible escape routes to safety. Furthermore, ensure that you and your family have access to health and life insurance just in case there will be injuries or death that are caused by these disasters.
- To mitigate the economic loss, make sure that your building: house, office, etc. is disaster proof or at least safer than the usual buildings. A strong building will be more beneficial, especially if you are living in places that are prone to massive earthquakes. If possible, place an insurance on your buildings and pay attention to the policies inside and make sure it covers damage due to a natural disaster.
When it comes to natural disasters, we, humans, are in the mercy of nature. No matter how hard we plan around the mitigation plan, we cannot escape it and the damage it will cause. Natural disasters might happen due to natural causes, but there are disasters that are caused by our neglect such as floods and wildfires. However, it shouldn’t hinder us from planning the mitigation strategy and taking care of our environment. Let’s plan well to overcome the damage of natural disasters while continuously taking care of our nature as well. We only have one planet, one place to live in this vast universe. There is no second Earth.