Tag Archive for: natural disaster

Get to Know the Most Common Natural Disasters in Indonesia

written by Stephanie Ruth Armida and Rafy Ramadhan: Content Writer Interns at Project Child Indonesia

Indonesia is known for its beautiful nature. However, behind Indonesia’s beautiful sceneries, there lurk dangers of natural disaster that can befall us any time. Located in the Ring of Fire, one of the world’s most geologically active areas, our country is prone to geological disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. We are also threatened by hydrometeorological or water related disasters such as floods, landslides, droughts and wildfires. In this article, we are going to discuss three of Indonesia’s most common disasters, which are earthquakes, floods, and landslides. We will also talk about what we should do if we ever have to face them!

Earthquakes, Floods & Landslides 

Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical (BMKG) stated that the intensity of earthquakes have increased at the beginning of the year (Thirafi, 2021). This happened due to aftershock of the earthquakes and the faults –cracks, in the earth where sections of plate are moving into different directions. People living in dense locations and/or near active tectonic locations are more likely to suffer the worst impact of the damage. Besides its danger due to  the amount of damage it can deal, an earthquake may lead to other disasters such as floods and landslides.

Floods, often caused by heavy downpour in the rainy season, are one of many disasters that are caused by humans most of the time. Poor water drainage, deforestations, and narrowing rivers are some of the many root causes of floods (Rayda, 2021). As discussed in our previous article, extreme weather has increased  the intensity of flood and it is getting more difficult to be predicted. Areas affected by floods are often covered by silt and muds. Floods may also contain hazardous materials in the water, such as sharp debris, dangerous chemicals, and sewage that might harm people. Moreover, it can damage facilities and leave affected residents with clean water shortage, no electricity,  and high risks of waterborne diseases. 

The last kind of disaster is landslides. Landslides are also caused by hydrometeorological phenomena. Oftentimes, they are triggered by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and heavy downpours. Now, we have an increasing number of landslides due to deforestation, climate change, and the conversion of open lands for modern-use purposes (Landslides : FAO in Emergencies, n.d.). Like any other disaster, landslides can cause structural destruction, loss of natural resources and damage to the land. It can also block rivers, hence higher risk of floods. 

Socio-Economic Impacts

The direct impacts of said disasters are dire indeed. However, we cannot ignore the indirect (and mostly long-term) impacts of these natural disasters as well. Our economy and society suffer from natural disasters which happen in a significantly high frequency, because our country is prone to natural disasters. 

From the economic point of view, devastated infrastructure can lead to poverty due to decreasing flow of income. Rebuilding destroyed infrastructures also suck up a considerable amount of budget from our government from time to time, given the fact that almost half of Indonesia’s districts are affected by natural disasters annually. 

From the social perspective, Natural disasters can cause education impairment, since school buildings are damaged and/or used as shelter for residents who are suffering from the phenomena. It can also trigger psychological impact such as trauma and anxiety.

Mitigation & Preparation

Despite the fact of being prone to natural disasters, the infrastructure in our country is not developed enough to be able to withstand the impact caused by them. While it is our government’s job to create sufficient disaster mitigation for its citizens, it is also our own responsibility to be prepared to face any natural disaster, especially those which have high potential to occur in our area. 

You can begin by creating a family safety plan and emergency supplies. Look up for disaster safety tips! Even the most simple knowledge like knowing what to do during a natural disaster such as hiding under your desk during an earthquake or running to the highest land near your area during floods might be a difference between life and death. 

We recommend you to download BNPB’s Disaster Pocketbook for more knowledge about natural disasters from here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d5A4bATq1VpqSgibS_bWd5JhLrrCpXE5/view  

Knowing emergency hotlines to call during a disaster  is also crucial should you ever need emergency help!  Here are the numbers you can call in our country to call for help:

  • Ambulance: 118 or 119
  • Police: 110
  • Search and Rescue (SAR): 115
  • Natural Disaster Officer: 129

Although sometimes natural disasters cannot be prevented, we can still try to save our nature and ourselves by fighting climate change. How? By creating eco-friendly behavior! Go check our previous articles for more helpful information, and as usual, everyone can do good, so do not forget to share this information to everyone! 

References

Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB). (2020). Buku Saku Tanggap Tangkas Tangguh Cetakan Kelima 2020 (Vol. 5) [E-book]. Pusat Data Informasi dan Komunikasi Kebencanaan BNPB. https://bnpb.go.id/buku/buku-saku-tanggap-tangkas-tangguh-cetakan-kelima-2020

Landslides : FAO in Emergencies. (n.d.). FAO. http://www.fao.org/emergencies/emergency-types/landslides/en/#:%7E:text=The%20impact%20of%20a%20landslide,increase%20the%20risk%20of%20floods

Rayda, N. (2021, February 8). The Indonesian government is exploring multiple options to contain the worsening floods, but there are obstacles including climate change and illegal settlements. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/jakarta-flooding-relocation-giant-seawall-anies-baswedan-13864908#:%7E:text=Although%20not%20as%20severe%20as,of%20the%20city’s%20business%20districts.

Thirafi, H. (2021, January 23). (Update) Potensi Multi Bencana Hidrometeorologis dan Aktivitas Kegempaan Meningkat, Masyarakat Diminta Tidak Panik tapi Tingkatkan Kewaspadaan | BMKG. BMKG | Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika. https://www.bmkg.go.id/berita/?p=potensi-multi-bencana-hidrometeorologis-dan-aktivitas-kegempaan-meningkat-masyarakat-diminta-tidak-panik-tapi-tingkatkan-kewaspadaan&lang=ID&tag=apps-info-bmkg

Climate Change in Indonesia: Flood as an Environmental Disaster

Written by Safira Tafani Cholisi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

You might be familiar with the term ‘climate change’. It has been a primary topic of discourse around the world, ranging from governments, business corporations, non-governmental organizations and even private individuals. Climate change is an environmental process where the temperature of the Earth increases due to the heightening level of greenhouse gases produced by human activities, subsequently causing a shift in the regularity of climate conditions around the globe (What is climate change? A really simple guide, 2020). It is known to be one of the most dangerous threats for humanity as changing climate conditions can lead to rain and snowstorms or the opposite such as drought and erosion. Inevitably, this directly impacts daily human activities in a range of sectors including agriculture, food production, and health.

However, this environmental catastrophe actually poses a more pressing threat to developing countries. Most are  geographically located around the equator, making the temperatures naturally warmer. Reasonably, climate change will only increase the already high temperatures in these countries. According to the World Bank, 100 million people could be dragged under the poverty line by 2030 due to the impacts of climate change (Climate Change and the Developing World: A Disproportionate Impact, 2020). Considering that developing countries mostly depend on natural resources and agriculture for economic growth, the direct consequences of climate change will challenge the economic resilience of these countries. Indonesia as a developing country itself is not exempted from these impacts.

As observed through various media and news channels, Indonesia has recently been hit by severe flooding in areas around the country. Earlier this year, intense rainfall and extreme weather conditions caused severe flooding in South Kalimantan. The flood lasted for more than two weeks and is estimated to have affected 712,129 people and displaced more than 110,000 (South Kalimantan Flood a Gloomy Picture of Natural Destruction, 2021). Additionally, the calculated loss in several sectors including agriculture and fishery sector reaches almost IDR 100 billion. Just last week, houses and buildings were awash by severe flooding in Jakarta and surrounding areas (Paat, 2021). Jakarta is notorious for being a hotspot for flash floods for a number of reasons such as uncontrolled groundwater drainage and rising sea levels. While these cases of floods are classified as natural disasters, it is undebatable that both climate change and our involvement has played a part in exacerbating this issue.

The causes of floods in Indonesia are mainly attributed to three factors: loss of tree cover, extreme weather and topography (Sulaeman, Pradana & Hamzah, 2019). However, illegal logging and mining as well as wild forest fires are some of the man-controlled causes of the loss of green spaces in Kalimantan forests. Without tree covers to facilitate water absorption by soil, sudden increase of water volume from extreme rainfall becomes uncontainable and leads to flooding. Climate change further aggravates this condition as higher global temperature causes rising sea levels due to ice melting in the polar regions. In fact, rising sea levels are one of the primary factors behind the prediction of Jakarta’s submergence by 2050 (Mulhern, 2020). These predictions do not only seem terrible and frightening, but they also threaten our wellbeing, particularly those most disadvantaged and marginalized without secure economic safety nets.

Are you wondering about what we can do to face this difficult challenge? There are many actions that we, as an individual, can do to reduce the damages of climate change. You can learn about what climate change is and how it can pervasively impact our lives both individually and collectively through various free learning platforms in your local community library or even the internet. Local organizations can also be a starting point for you to connect with your surrounding community and environment and contribute to social work and mutual aid. Project Child Indonesia recognizes that environmental and disaster issues are pressing to our local communities and incorporates disaster risk management lessons in some of its programs such as Sekolah Sungai and Sekolah Pantai. Whatever it is that you do to act on the danger of climate change, it is a huge step to do good to your community and environment. In resonance with Project Child Indonesia’s motto, “Everyone Can Do Good”, we believe that you too can also do good.

Photo Credit: CNN

References

BBC. 2020. What is climate change? A really simple guide. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24021772> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

KOMPAS. 2021. South Kalimantan Flood a Gloomy Picture of Natural Destruction. [online] Available at: <https://www.kompas.id/baca/english/2021/01/25/south-kalimantan-flood-a-gloomy-picture-of-natural-destruction/#> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

Mulhern, O., 2020. Sea Level Rise Projection Map – Jakarta. [online] Earth.org. Available at: <https://earth.org/data_visualization/sea-level-rise-by-the-end-of-the-century-alexandria-2/> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

Paat, Y., 2021. Weekend Floods Force Hundreds to Leave Home in Jakarta. [online] Jakarta Globe. Available at: <https://jakartaglobe.id/news/weekend-floods-force-hundreds-to-leave-home-in-jakarta> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

Sulaeman, D., Pradana, A. and Hamzah, H., 2019. 3 Main Causes of Floods in Indonesia and How to Prevent Them. [online] WRI Indonesia. Available at: <https://wri-indonesia.org/en/blog/3-main-causes-floods-indonesia-and-how-prevent-them> [Accessed 20 February 2021].

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. 2020. Climate Change and the Developing World: A Disproportionate Impact. [online] Available at: <https://www.usglc.org/blog/climate-change-and-the-developing-world-a-disproportionate-impact/> [Accessed 20 February 2021].