Indonesia: Natural disasters inflict Rp30 trillion loss per year in Indonesia

Antara 4 May 17;

Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Indonesia suffers an average of Rp30 trillion in economic losses per year due to natural disasters, Head of the National Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei said.

"The losses are well above the governments mitigation fund reserves, amounting to Rp4 trillion per year," he stated in his general lecture before students of Padang State University (UNP) on Tuesday.

In 2016, the country suffered Rp3.159 trillion in material losses due to an earthquake in Pidie Jaya, Aceh province; Rp94 billion due to floods in Pangkal Pinang, Bangka Belitung province; Rp1.479 trillion due to floods in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara province; and Rp100 billion due to floods from Bengawan Solo River.

"Many other disasters also caused huge losses in other areas, including floods in Limapuluh Kota district," he noted.

Overall, natural disasters increased in Indonesia from 2003 to 2016, and 95 percent of these were dominated by hydro-meteorological disasters such as floods, landslides, droughts, whirlwinds, and forest and land fires.

On a national scale, the material losses caused by land and forest fires in 2014 reached Rp221 trillion, he remarked.

"Most of the hydro-meteorological disasters are caused by natural factors," he revealed.

Therefore, he called on all segments of the society to continue to improve their knowledge on disasters.

"When disasters cause economic losses, we may recover from them. But this is not the case with the loss of lives, which may traumatize the local residents and have an impact on their future," he pointed out.(*)