Antara, Jakarta – As a country located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is prone to natural disasters such as volcano eruption, earthquake, and tsunami, and hence its residents must be prepared for that.
Moreover, the world's largest archipelagic country is strategically located between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, that could induce extreme wet (La Nina) or dry seasons (El Nino) weather and ocean-related phenomena that could trigger flooding, drought and forest fires.
One of the worst disasters hitting Indonesia in modern history was the deadly tsunami which devastated Aceh Province and Nias Island (North Sumatra Province) on December 26, 2004, which killed around 200,000 people and rendered about one million others homeless. The tsunami was triggered by a powerful 8.9-magnitude earthquake.
In addition, since March 2020, Indonesia has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected a total of 1,134,854 people and claimed 31,202 lives as of February 6, 2021. World-widely, nearly 106 million people have been infected by, and over 2.3 million others succumbed to the pandemic, which had never been predicted.
While entering 2021, Indonesia has to face other natural disasters besides the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country had been stricken by a total of 197 natural disasters during the January 1-23 period, according to data of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
Most of those disasters were hydrometeorological disasters comprising 134 floods, 31 landslides, and 24 whirlwinds, that had claimed 184 lives, injured, 2,700 people, rendered nine people missing, and affected or displaced 1.9 million others.
Compared to January 2020, during the same period, BNPB recorded 297 natural disasters affecting across Indonesia, particularly massive flooding in Jakarta and surrounding areas, and claiming 91 lives.