Extreme Weather to Last Another Week
Several areas in Indonesia have been hit by hydrometeorological disasters. Anticipative measures are needed as extreme weather is forecasted to last until Oct. 15.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS - An extreme weather warning for some parts of Indonesia over the next week has been issued by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). Floods, landslides, strong winds and fallen trees can occur due to moderate to high intensity rainfall.
The public must become more vigilant as extreme weather events since the beginning of October have triggered disasters resulting in casualties and losses. Even now, several areas impacted by such disasters have yet to be handled.
For one, floods in North Aceh regency, Aceh, have not completely subsided as of Sunday (9/10/2022). The Banda Aceh-Medan national road in Lhoksukon is still inundated, though it is beginning to subside.
In Lhoksukon, flood water levels reached 50 centimeters. Some motorcyclists braved the waters and passed through, while other people, who were worried their vehicles would break down, turned around.
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Floods in North Aceh inundated at least 142 villages in 14 subdistricts. The flooding occurred after several of the district’s main rivers overflowed. High-intensity rain also caused the river’s water level to rise very quickly. As a result, as many as 39,000 North Aceh residents were reported to have evacuated.
In West Kalimantan, parts of Ketapang, Melawi and Sanggau districts were flooded as well. Daniel, from the West Kalimantan Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) disaster information task force, said flooding in Ketapang occurred in Jelai Hulu district from Friday to Sunday (7-9/10).
Flood water levels reached 50-170 centimeters, submerging 147 houses belonging to 189 families. Several road points also became impassable. Schools, village health centers, religious centers and village offices are unable to function properly. Locals need to remain alert as upcoming rain can last for a few days.
The BMKG head Dwikorita Karnawati said the agency had previously issued an extreme weather warning for Oct. 2-8. “Based on our latest analysis, there are still significant dynamics in Indonesia’s atmosphere, which will result in increased potential for extreme weather across several regions in the coming week,” he said.
According to Dwikorita, the latest atmospheric dynamics analysis showed a cyclonic circulation that formed a pattern of wind bends and a slowdown in wind speed, both of which can increase convective activity and the growth of rain clouds. Additionally, the active phenomenon of atmospheric waves, such as the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), which interacts with the Equatorial Rossby wave and Kelvin wave, also indirectly increases the growth of rain clouds in several parts of Indonesia.
We recommend that the relevant stakeholders ensure the capacity of infrastructure and water resources management systems are ready to anticipate increased rainfall.
Based on these conditions, the BMKG forecasts the potential for moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by lightning and strong winds from Oct. 9-15 in several areas. In Sumatra, extreme weather can occur in Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau Islands, Riau, Bangka Belitung Islands, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatra and Lampung. Extreme weather can also potentially occur in all areas of Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua.
Meanwhile, impact-based forecasts also predicted that for the next three days until Oct. 20 the following areas will be hit by heavy rainfall: Aceh, Banten, Jakarta, parts of West Java, parts of Central Java, parts of East Java, parts of West Kalimantan and parts of Central Sulawesi.
“We recommend that the relevant stakeholders ensure the capacity of infrastructure and water resources management systems are ready to anticipate increased rainfall,” said Dwikorita.
Regions gear up
In light of the BMKG’s early warning, the Jakarta BPBD is monitoring 25 flood-prone urban districts. Residents in these areas were asked to remain vigilant and to anticipate extreme weather.
“The BPBD needs to let the public know that we may face [extreme] weather conditions in the next 1 to 2 weeks,” said the Jakarta BPBD chief executive Isnawa Adji on Sunday (9/10).
Through an official statement from the Jakarta administration, Governor Anies Baswedan stated that several efforts have been made in relation to flood control in the capital. He mentioned that mud has been dredged from many lakes, rivers and reservoirs in the city to reduce siltation. This was done by deploying heavy equipment scaled to take up to three times its usual capacity.
The Cirebon administration also took several anticipative measures. Cirebon Regional Secretary Agus Mulyadi said that the relevant agencies have normalized rivers around Cirebon to prevent flooding caused by silting.
“We have instructed residents of districts and communities to work together to keep the environment clean,” he said.
> Tidal Flooding Continues to Threaten Java’s Northern Coast
Cirebon Public Housing and Settlements Agency Head Wandi Sofyan added that officers had improved the drainage systems of settlements, such as those in coastal areas. Densely populated areas in Samadikun and Pesisir were also prone to flooding, including tidal waves.
His party also prepared a team of 60 officers to anticipate drainage blockages and fallen trees during the rainy season. “The public can reach the 112-call center if there is anything that needs to be reported. The team is on standby 24/7,” he said.
Meanwhile, a disaster analyst at the Kapuas Hulu regency BPBD in West Kalimantan, M. Yunus, said that the area had not been affected by flooding. However, several anticipative measures have been taken, such as activating flood posts, issuing early warnings and conveying weather information from the BMKG to the villages.
Residents have been advised to remain vigilant and not to travel outside their homes for their own safety.
The Bogor BPBD also warned its residents to be wary of fallen trees due to strong winds and heavy rainfall in the next few days. A total of 162 trees were recorded to be most vulnerable to strong winds. Residents and motorcyclists were asked not to take shelter under trees when strong winds came with the rain.
“Residents have been advised to remain vigilant and not to travel outside their homes for their own safety. If [you] must travel, please pay attention to your own safety and immediately find a safe area. Stay away from large trees. The weather is erratic and public awareness is key,” said the Bogor BPBD Chief Executive Theofilo Patrocinio Freitas. (AIK/AIN/ESA/GIO/HLN/IKI)
This article was translated by Kesya Adhalia.