Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The highly disaster-prone Indonesia calls for aseismic constructions or buildings designed to withstand earthquakes, according to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
"Indonesia is in the top three countries that are the most prone to disasters. The number of natural disasters in Indonesia are jumping by 81 percent from 1,945 disasters in 2010 to 3,544 last year," Jokowi said at a disaster-resilience conference in Jakarta on Thursday.
"Earthquakes are occurring more frequently, and not to mention other natural and non-natural disasters. We are still too fixated on emergency response when the disaster actually occurs, even though the pre-disaster [measures] are far more important," Jokowi said.
He said aseismic designs become a key anticipatory measure against earthquakes and told the relevant government bodies to be careful when issuing construction permits in hazard-prone areas.
"We already have mapped out where the disasters usually occur. So we should start making it mandatory for people to construct earthquake-resistant buildings," Jokowi said.
"It is not just the multi-story buildings, but even those single-story buildings must adopt aseismic construction models, especially those in the disaster-prone regions," the president added.
The recent colossal quake in Turkiye and Syria has taught the world a lesson about the need to construct earthquake-proof buildings. The death toll has topped 51,000, and thousands remain missing to this day. The quake also left many buildings flattened.
"Their buildings are tall, but they were not earthquake-proof. This is what they believe to be the reason why all those buildings collapsed in Turkiye," Jokowi said.
Indonesia scored 41.46 on the 2022 World Risk Index, just behind the Philippines (46.82) and India (42.31). The report also showed the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar (35.49) are the most disaster-prone ASEAN countries. A score between 12.89 and 100 indicates a very high disaster risk.
Last November, Indonesia saw a 5.6-magnitude quake jolting the West Java town of Cianjur. The quake was powerful enough to cause damage to 53,408 homes, the government reported on Dec. 7.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that 28 earthquakes occurred in Indonesia throughout 2022.