Indonesia: Forty million people in Indonesia live in landslide-prone areas

The Jakarta Post 5 Apr 17;

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) warned on Tuesday that people should remain alert for more landslides in the country as about 40 million citizens, 17 percent of the population, live in landslide-prone areas.

BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said several areas have limestone under the surface, making it easier for the ground to erode during a downpour.

As of April 2, the agency recorded 251 landslides across Indonesia, making it the most frequent natural disaster in the first months of 2017.

“They live there because they don’t have any choice,” Sutopo said. Poverty was one of the reasons why is it so hard to relocate the people, he added.

Although local governments might find safer areas for the people to live, most of the people living in the areas refused to move since they made their lving in the vicinity, mostly as farmers.

To make things worse, the BNPB could only install about 200 early warning systems across Indonesia.

“Ideally we should have more than 100,000 early warning systems so people can be removed before the landslides happen,” Sutopo said.

“When it comes to a natural disaster, it becomes everyone's problem,” Sutopo said.

A landslide struck Ponorogo, East Java, on April 1, killing at least three and displacing 200 people. Until today, 25 remain missing as they are buried under 50 meters of mud. (hol/wit)

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