Source: ANTARA
Date: October 30, 2021.

Surabaya (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) and the Indonesian Hydraulic Engineers Association (HATHI) have prepared several measures for tackling La Nina storms that can cause flooding in Indonesia, an official has informed.

"As per BMKG predictions, the rain pattern from late 2021 to early 2022 will be influenced by La Nina," PUPR Ministry secretary general Zainal Fattah said in his welcoming speech at the Annual Scientific Meeting (PIT) of HATHI at the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) Surabaya on Saturday.

According to him, Indonesia is one of the countries that possesses considerable water resources. Those huge resources must be sustained with good management, he said.

"However, our water resources actually hold the potential to cause damage, too. Natural disasters are showing an increasing trend," he explained.

Based on data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BMKG), Indonesia recorded 750 floods in 2019, one thousand in 2020, and the number has increased this year, he noted.

He said his office has also taken note of studies showing the growing tendency of hydro-meteorological disasters.

"Hydro-meteorological disasters are one of the impacts of global climate change. In the tropical regions where we live, climate change impacts rain intensity," Fattah expounded.

As BMKG has predicted that there will be a La Nina storm, he said his office has taken several anticipatory steps, including activating the disaster mitigation task force to monitor all existing infrastructure in Indonesia and inspect the flood volume.

"We are also carrying out disaster alert SOPs (standard operating procedures) at 250 dams with a reservoir volume of 4.7 cu m," he highlighted.

Meanwhile, HATHI chairman Ir. Jarot Widyoko said the La Nina storm will pass the Indonesian region and rain intensity is predicted to rise by 70 percent.

"For that, we expect ourselves, institutions, and agencies to empty or minimize the (flood) reservoirs," he said.

However, the minimum need for hydroelectric power plants (PLTA) and raw water needs must be included in the consideration, he added.

"Reservoirs or dams can maximally receive water and reduce water discharge caused by heavy rain intensity," he said.