The Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency warns of a heightened risk of forest fires resulting from a prolonged dry season triggered by El Niño weather patterns.
Weather forecasters predict the dry season will last longer than usual until October. A prolonged drought will impact clean water supplies and rainfall, making many areas more prone to forest fires.
The Country’s disaster agency also said that Indonesia expects a longer dry season, lasting until October, due to the El Niño weather pattern, threatening clean water supplies and increasing the risk of forest fires.
The National Weather Bureau (BKMG) had initially predicted that Indonesia’s dry season would peak in the August-September period. BKMG has now pushed forward the apex of the dry season to September-October.
The prolonged dry season in Indonesia can potentially exacerbate drought conditions, primarily in Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara.
These critical weather conditions are occurring while water reservoirs in population centers, such as Jakarta, are at significantly low levels. Forecasters predict that this year’s dry season will be more severe than that experienced in 2019 due to the return of El Niño.
Deaths attributed to prolonged drought conditions, such as that experienced in 2019, have been linked to deaths in the mountainous regions of Papua, where thousands are now facing hunger.
In North Sumatra, Aceh is currently enduring numerous forest fires blamed on dry conditions.
According to the World Bank Forecasts 2019, fires caused an estimated US$5.2 billion in losses.
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