by Abu Hanifah
JAKARTA, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- In the face of a series of natural disasters in recent months, Indonesia is taking measures to ensure public safety and step up disaster mitigation.
A series of earthquakes and tsunami have claimed the lives of thousands of people, leaving hundreds of thousands of others displaced and destroying infrastructure in various areas in recent months.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has issued order to immediately initiate disaster education in schools and in the society.
The president said the programs should be applied immediately in areas identified as being prone to natural disasters.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Tuesday stressed the need for National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to initiate regular simulation program for residents so as to make people well-prepared for natural disasters.
"It can be conducted in areas prone from earthquake and tsunami, like in West Sumatra or Aceh provinces," he said.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian government has doubled its disaster mitigation allocation to 15 trillion rupiah (around 1 billion U.S. dollars) this year.
Part of the allocation would be used to cover operation of BNPB, while some would be set as standby fund that can be disbursed to finance mitigation activities for certain scale of disasters.
BNPB predicted that Indonesia would continue to see floodings and landslides throughout this year due to expansion of damaged river bank areas and poor spatial planning in hilly areas.
The risk of volcanic and seismic disasters also remained high with escalating activities of several volcanoes across the country. Earthquakes occurred almost on daily basis in several areas.
The threat of tsunami remained in concerning condition. The country lacks early warning devices, as the tsunami buoys set in the sea in several locations have been broken or stolen.