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Battening Down the Hatches in Bali

Baliís Disaster Mitigation Agency Put on Alert for Seasonal Weather Havoc

(1/6/2013) Bali current season of heavy rains has prompted authorities to place the Bali Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) on a state of "high alert" in anticipation of flooding, landslides and damage caused by high winds.

The Jakarta Post quotes the head of the BPBD Bali, Dewa Made Indra, who says he has put the Emergency Response System (ERS) in Bali on a higher stance of readiness to respond effectively to any natural or man-made disaster. Said Indra: 
“During this season of heavy rains, various natural disasters will likely occur everywhere, especially in vulnerable locations.”

Heavy rains in North Bali on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 caused flooding. The following day BPBD responded with aid for the flood victims in Sawan village, Buleleng. Food and kitchen equipment was provided by BPBD. 

Indra warned that some areas of Bali were prone to landslides, floods and strong winds – citing the regencies of Buleleng, Bangli, Tabanan and Karangasem as among the areas most at risk. Flooding is a concern in parts of Bali’s capital of Denpasar due to poor drainage.

In 2010 an integrated crisis center was established to mitigate the effects of disaster on the public. Staffed by 45 people, the Crisis Center operates 24-hours each day coordinating responses to developing situations with the Police; Army; the Indonesian Red Cross; hospitals; the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency; and members of the general public.

Financed by the French government, the Crisis Center was built in an earthquake-proof building and is equipped with the latest in monitoring and communication technology.

The provincial government of Bali has allocated US$2.1 million in 2013 for disaster mitigation plus another Rp. 10 billion (US$1.02 million) to fund the operation of the Crisis Center and to pay for a public awareness campaign.
aimed at disaster-prone regions.