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Indonesia to double its disaster response budget following deadliest year in a decade

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The Indonesian government will double its disaster response budget following last year’s devastation.

O fficials said funds would be increased to 15 trillion rupiah (S$1.41 billion) in 2019 and allocated to rehabilitation and reconstruction and disaster response. More money will also be channelled toward disaster education, according to a report in The Straits Times

The budget increase follows Indonesia’s deadliest year in more than a decade. Last year, ore than 3,000 people died in tsunamis and earthquakes

I n December 2018, at least 400 people died when a landslide on Anak Krakatau volcano created five-metre-high waves that devastated western Java and southern Sumatra. In September of that year, a double quake-and-tsunami disaster in Sulawesi claimed the lives of over 2,000 people. This followed a series of major earthquakes that flattened much of the northern coast of the holiday island of Lombok in August.

A spokesman said the budget increase was necessary given the country’s geographic position. Indonesia sits on the seismically active ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ and is susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, and localised incidents like landslides, floods, and forest fires.

He said the national curriculum should also include disaster preparedness and that the country’s existing tsunami warning system needed to be renewed..

"Given our disaster-prone geographic conditions, we must be prepared, responsive, alert, and resilient in facing any natural disaster," the spokesman added.