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Developing a Tsunami Safe Community in Rawa Indah, Seluma

Following on from our visit in March 2018, the StIRRRD team visited Rawa Indah to engage with the community and stakeholders to further develop a draft Tsunami Safe Action Plan. The team spent 5 days in the village conducting and participating in various village activities, with the help of BPBD (Emergency Management Agency), Seluma and Bengkulu University. Specifically, we

Attended, on invitation, 2 women’s prayer groups and one men’s prayer group and discussed tsunami awareness and preparedness.

Womens group 180424

Engaged with the local community groups (POLMAS – Community Police, Tagana (Youth) BANSER and KSB) and sought their input into Actions to be taken, within 5 overlapping themes that had emerged from the initial visit, namely; 1) Shelter Management, 2) Evacuation Planning, 3) Local Access, 4) Resilient Infrastructure and 5) Prepared and Knowledgeable Community.

Poster Mitigasi Bencana Tsunami Desa Rawa IndahDistributed tsunami awareness and response posters/calendars developed by the team to each household and gifted maps and drone video footage flown on first visit, along with other tsunami preparedness literature and videos.

Attended Friday morning women’s aerobics at the tsunami shelter and were given an opportunity to talk about tsunami preparedness.Friday aerobics 180427Friday aerobics 180427 (2)

Held a meeting with District OPDs (Social, Public Works (PU), Bappeda (Planning), Education, Health, Marine and Fisheries) at the shelter to present the plan and convey the actions in the plan that were their responsibility. Implementing the plan requires a trusted partnership between the district agencies and the village.

School Simulation 180426 (19)Participated in an evacuation simulation with children in years 4-6 from the local school and then spent some time at the shelter discussing tsunami and disaster preparedness.

Facilitated a tsunami/disaster art competition for years 5 and 6 at the school, supplying plywood sheets, paint and some concepts. The artwork produced in a 3-hour session is spectacular, and the children stayed well after school was finished to complete their group projects. The intent is that these will be on display in the tsunami shelter.

School Art 180428 (5)

The activities culminated in a movie night at the shelter that about 500 people attended. Prior to the feature movies we showed some tsunami safe preparedness videos in Bahasa Indonesian developed by IOTIC/UNESCO, as well as the aerial video of Rawa Indah taken during the first visit. The school artwork created earlier in the day was on display. The mobile cinema was rented from the Ministry of Education, Seluma.

Movie Night 180428 (7)

Movie Night 180428 (18)

The village head, Pak Rubimanto, expressed his commitment, and that of the village to the plan and restated the intent to help facilitate similar plans in nearby villages also at risk from tsunami. Hopefully the plan and the process will provide a template for the BPBD along with PMI (Indonesian Red Cross) to extend awareness and preparedness.

We are grateful Pak Rubimanto, his family and the villagers who generously hosted us for 5 nights and engaged with enthusiasm. We have developed trusted relationships with community leaders and they are extremely keen to instigate the actions they have identified as best they can. We’ll be following up with progress in July 2018 when we hope to finalise the plan and have a village-wide simulation.

Initiating Tsunami Awareness Community Engagement, Rawa Indah, Seluma

The StIRRRD team was in Rawa Indah, Seluma, Bengkulu Province to initiate a tsunami awareness community project. Rawa Indah is a village of about 2500 people located on the broad coastal plain of Seluma and is at risk from tsunami, with no nearby high ground suitable for evacuation. In 2014, BNPB (the National Emergency Management Agency), with the assistance of international development aid and the National Public Works, built a 16-m high tsunami shelter near the village. Responsibility for the shelter has only recently been passed to the local emergency management agency, Seluma BPBD. Little or no work to improve community awareness of tsunami hazard, possible natural warnings or the function of the shelter has been undertaken, and the Seluma BPBD do not have the capacity to maintain the shelter or carry out extensive consultation. As a result, the condition of the shelter has deteriorated.

Rawa Indah Tsunami Sheleter

This initial visit (27 Feb – 1 Mar 2018) of the StIRRRD team was to get to know the people, gain an understanding of their current level of tsunami awareness, and help them to understand the risk associated with this significant hazard.

Rawa Indah Program Sosialisasi Tsunami

Ultimately, the community will develop their own evacuation plan and develop ongoing tsunami awareness centred around better use of the tsunami shelter for village activities. Students from the UNIB (University of Bengkulu) undertook a survey with more than 100 residents, to gauge tsunami awareness and preparedness. With the help of the local Red Cross (PMI), BPBD and UNIB, the team spent a day in the local school discussing hazards, tsunami, preparedness and action with 300 school children as well with the teachers. UNIB also built, and bought with them, a tsunami wave model tank which demonstrates tsunami formation and potential impacts.

Rawa Indah School Visit 1Rawa Indah School Visit 2

Rawa Indah Tsunami Tank Demo

University Gadjah Mada (UGM) flew an aerial survey and took video of the village surrounds.

Rawa Indah Coastal Plain

A good relationship has been established with the head of the village Pak Rubimanto, and he and his family, and the villagers generously hosted members of the team for 3 nights. Village leaders are extremely keen to be involved and want to utilise the shelter as best they can, and instigate other awareness and preparedness initiatives that the StIRRRD team will help facilitate.

Rawa Indah Village Head

It is intended that nearby villages with a similar risk from tsunami will also benefit from this project, as it will provide a template for the development of other evacuation plans. By working closely with BPBD and PMI, it is anticipated that the capacity of these agencies to assist other villages will improve.

Phase 2 of the engagement in April 2018 will involve some workshops and meetings with key village groups and responsible agencies and continued engagement with the school. It is also planned to hold an information drop-in session in the tsunami shelter on a Saturday, where the draft tsunami plan can be discussed, followed by a movie night. The third phase, later in the year will include a whole of village evacuation simulation and a repeat questionnaire survey.

Coaching and Mentoring – Bengkulu

A StIRRRD team has been in Seluma and Bengkulu City in Bengkulu Province, as part of the ongoing implementation of the BPBD-led DRR actions plans, as the project moves from phase 1 (plan development and training) to phase 2 (implementation and monitoring). A small ceremony celebrating the collaboration and support of the districts during phase 1 was held, with a certificate and token of appreciation presented to the district heads. The team also met the parliament of each district to discuss on-going support of the BPBD disaster risk reduction measures.

Award Ceremony
StIRRRD Team present the Mayor of Bengkulu City with an award commemorating DRR initiatives and collaboration.

The team met with the BPBD, and other government agencies, in separate meetings, to discuss progress, reaffirm commitment to the Action Plan Initiatives, and discuss implementation options.

BPBD Discussions
StIRRRD team meeting with Bengkulu City BPBD staff

In October 2016, Bengkulu City BPBD implemented a tsunami “Blue Line” project and included it in an evacuation simulation for schools. Unfortunately, the contractor used a water-based paint and the line has quickly faded. However, the BPBD are committed and have budget to implement more blue lines along the coast, improve evacuation routes, involve the local communities to raise awareness and upgrade signage.

Blue Line
Tsunami Blue Line, Bengkulu City
Tsunami Sign
Tsunami Safe Zone signs, Bengkulu City

In Seluma the team met with the disaster volunteers of Rawa Indah village, where a vertical tsunami evacuation shelter has been constructed. Despite not yet officially taking control of the shelter, the locals are using it for weddings, mother’s groups and other social occasions and ceremonies. The community obviously value this structure, and are making some effort to keep it clean and tidy. For minimal cost, it would be possible to make this structure more suitable for community use. This part of the Seluma coastline is a flat broad plain, and the villages are susceptible to flooding, tsunami and storm surge events. The evacuation shelter may therefore also be useful during other disaster events.

Rawa Indra
Discussions with locals at the vertical tsunami evacuation shelter Rawa Indah

Seluma has limited resources but despite this, it is trying to implement its Action Plan, and will benefit greatly from the coaching and mentoring provided by the StIRRRD team over the next year or so to gain some momentum. In contrast, Kota Bengkulu has gathered momentum with a number of initiatives currently underway, and planned in the current financial year.

It is vital for the sustainability of the program that local universities are involved in providing expert advice as well as student resources as part of their community service. In both Seluma and Bengkulu City, the University of Bengkulu (UNIB), particularly the Disaster Research Centre, is providing this key support role. A number of initiatives are likely to be led by, or involve UNIB, including development of local building clinics, hazard education in schools and tsunami education and socialisation. UNIB will also be conducting geophysical and geotechnical research projects that aim to improve understanding of natural hazards in the region.

StIRRRD hits Bengkulu TV

Disaster Risk Reduction was the feature for the Selamat Pagi, Bengkulu TV breakfast show on the morning of Tuesday 24 November, 2015. Prof Iman Satyarno and Phil Glassey from the StIRRRD team, along with Ibu Lena from the Bengkulu City Emergency Management Office (BPBD)  and Ibu Erna Sari Dewi the head of the City‘s parliament (DPRD), were guests on the 1 hour interactive TV chat show from 8 – 9 am on RB (Rakyat Bengkulu) TV, the Bengkulu Province broadcaster.

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From right – Phil Glassey (GNS Science – StiRRRD), Prof Iman Satyarno (University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) – StIRRRD), Ibu Erna Sari Dewi (DPRD), and Ibu Lena (BPBD),  on the Selamat Pagi Bengkulu show.

The TV show started by introducing Bengkulu as one of the regions in Indonesia that has a quite high disaster index as noted by the National Agency for Disaster Reduction (BNPB). Some effort has been made by Bengkulu City Government to minimise the risk but many more activities still need to be implemented. Some video clips of what Bengkulu City Government and StIRRRD have done so far were also shown during the broadcast.

It was discussed that to effectively reduce disaster risk requires that the stake holders such as the community itself, the local government, the local university, and the local NGOs to work together. Each has its own role and the local university (University of Bengkulu) will support with its research and technology with back up from UGM and GNS Science. One example of technology that can be used to reduce the risk of buildings from earthquake is by using base isolation technology.

The role of DPRD is considered very important as it is the one who prove all the legal aspects and the budget required to carry out activities to reduce the disaster risk. The head of Bengkulu City DPRD explicitly stated that she will do her best to get the support of parliament for any disaster risk reduction activities.

One viewer called the show saying that he supported the StIRRRD activity in Bengkulu City and thanked UGM and GNS Science for their help. He also requested more socialisation about disaster risk reduction program in Bengkulu City, and asked for more signs for tsunami evacuation and simulation drills so that the community is ready.

The StIRRRD team were back in Bengkulu City to facilitate the BPBD and other local government departments to finalise a Disaster Risk Reduction Action Plan with all stakeholders in a one day workshop, and present that plan to the local parliament for provisional approval. The Plan has been developed over a period of 6 months and the process included an initial 2 day workshop in April 2015 and a comparative study visit to New Zealand in June 2015.

RiskScape – Risk Modelling Training, Palu

For some, it wasn’t easy to get to Palu for the Risk Modelling training conducted in Palu 19 – 23 October 2015. Smoke from wild fires closed Palu Airport, and a few participants, and some of the training team missed the first day. Contingency planning wasn’t in place for such an event. Perhaps the economic losses and disruption to people from wild fire in Indonesia could be included in the future risk modelling. Tragically, some hikers died in a wild fire in Java on the day before the workshop. Flights were cancelled many times during our week here and we weren’t sure we were going to get flights out.

The R Team

The training was facilitated by members of the RiskScape team Kate Crowley (NIWA), Sheng-Lin Lin and Mostafa Nayyerloo (GNS Science) along with members of the StIRRRD team from UGM ( Agung Setianto,  Iman Satyarno, Wahyu Wilopo). Gumbert Maylda Pratarma from UGM provided able logistic support.

About 40 participants attended the training coming from the 4 universities that are part of StIRRRD project; Tadulako University (UNTAD), Andalas University (UNAND), Mataram University (UNRAM), and Bengkulu University (UNIB), and from the Emergency Management, Planning, and Public Works offices of Palu, Donggala, and Morowali, Padang, Agam, Kota Bengkulu and Mataram.

The training started with the fundamentals of Risk – Hazards, the exposed Assets (buildings, infrastructure and people) and the interaction between the assets and population and the hazards, known as the Vulnerability. RiskScape is the tool that combines these to calculate the impacts of hazard events in terms of damage and casualties, and the trainees were given a quick look at how the tool works.

Using Riskscape

To reinforce risk fundamentals, group exercises were used to discuss how risk modelling could support DRR activities in their districts and to list the possible impacts of hazards on the exposed assets.

Discussing the issues

For the more technical minded, a look under the hood of RiskScape enabled them to see how hazard layers and vulnerability functions can be loaded into the tool. Concurrently, the remainder discussed the development of hazard values and the basics of developing measures of vulnerability.

Outdoor riskscape session

This led into a discussion about the asset information required, including building and infrastructure attributes and typology, as well as population data, and involved a demonstration of the RiACT tool (Real Time Asset Collection Tool), to be used the next day in the field exercise. Being in Palu, Tadulako University had helped with organising the training, and had gathered significant asset data prior to the workshop using paper forms, the results of this survey presented by Dr Ketut of Tadulako University.

The following morning one half of the group went into the streets of Palu, armed with tablets to collect asset data using the RiACT tool. They collected 75 assets in 2 hours work and downloaded them to a database server.

Getting ready for field action

Field data capture

The remaining group worked through RiskScape tutorials and discussed ‘what if’ scenarios. They also came up with questions/scenarios that they might wish to have modelled in RiskScape to assist in Risk Reduction investment, and the data they would need to do so. These scenarios provided the basis of RiskScape Indonesia action plans to be developed later in the training. The groups swapped sessions the following morning.

Using the data they had collected, and earthquake hazard scenario and vulnerability functions from New Zealand, a Palu earthquake scenario was modelled using RiskScape.

Palu Scenario

The final sessions of the workshop were devoted to developing actions to take the training forward to develop and model the scenarios developed through the workshop. These will require collaboration between the district government departments and the universities involved. Tadulako University and Palu indicated they had data and resources and were ready to go, especially with the asset data collection.

Via the network established here, risk modelling in Indonesia can be developed and inform Disaster Risk Reduction decisions and investment.

Seluma – observing hazard and risk issues in the field – by Kate Crowley

As part of the DRR Action Plan workshop held in Seluma, 25–26 August 2015, we had a half-day field visit organised by the local emergency management office (BPBD). It was an opportunity for them to show some of the hazard and risk issues they face. Our party consisting of local government staff and university researchers, set off from Pasar Tais just after 8 am and travelled towards Pasar Seluma on the coast. Soon the tarmac road ran out and gave way to a rolling dirt track worn to rubble, which took us through a cross section of Indonesian life from the bustling town to the gentle padi fields. But the watery green terraces are slowly being eaten by groves of palm oil. Busy villages line the road, hinting at the thousands of people who live in this area near the coast. Initially hidden by the palms a great expanse of beach opens out. Here, we are provided an informative presentation by the head of the Preparedness section of the BPBD, Aziman. He describes how they have recently mapped the tsunami hazard in this region and will be using this map in risk reduction planning going forwards.

BEACH

He expresses his concerns that although the national government have built a tsunami shelter, it can hold only 3,000 people. There are many villages that line the 70 km of exposed coast of Seluma and he estimates that they would need 10 tsunami shelters to sufficient provide a safe refuge for them all. The drive from Pasar Tais to the beach is across broad flat coastal plain, which makes tsunami evacuation challenging. Vertical evacuation is a sensible option, but the lack of multi-storey buildings means that purpose built structures, although expensive, are the only option.

Following a ‘bread crumb’ trail of tsunami evacuation signs our dusty convoy travelled on to the purpose built tsunami shelter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Exploring this large structure it becomes clear that it is purpose built. It is a solid, open structure and a ramp and broad stairs enable those who are frail, young or disabled to access the higher floors. Toilets are provided on the third floor and solar panels are in place to provide lighting at night. This is an impressive undertaking, following a national standard and is very similar to the one observed in Kota Bengkulu.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

However, the local emergency managers are still waiting for an official handover of the building from the national government before they can start using the building and implementing their community awareness plans. The building could be used as a local community centre, a market, or even a school and this would enable the community to become familiar with the structure and put it to good use.

Click the links here for a videos of a similar shelter in Kota Bengkulu, under construction and finished.

The aim of this second phase is to support the local community to be resilient, enabling them to identify the warning signs of a tsunami and know where to go and when. This outreach is aligned with support for their livelihoods under the “Resilient Village” government program.  It is a holistic approach that aims to improve the lives of those living in the area now and in the future.

SHELTER TALK

Tsunami is not the only hazard that impacts this area. The workshop participants have also identified floods, earthquakes and landslides. Participants noted that they are used to the frequent small earthquakes that shake the surrounding countryside, and they rank earthquakes as the biggest threat. The fear of ‘the large one’ is real.

Our final stop demonstrates the power of a frequent and rapid onset hazard – flooding. We visit a small village that last month woke to find devastation on their door step. Overnight heavy rainfall upstream, in the “dry” season, caused the near-by wide and shallow river to swell and overtop its banks. Flood waters up to 4 m in depth swept through the palm oil plantation and three villages were flooded. Despite the flood occurring rapidly, over only 2 hours, no one was hurt but many lost their belongings.

The field trip provided an insight into this districts progress towards resilience. Just like the road we travelled together today, the path of disaster risk reduction is at times rough and slow but the journey is always worth it.

DRR in action around Merapi

As part of the combined KPDT-StIRRRD workshop on Human Recovery Needs Assessment and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) held in Yogyakarta, 24-26 November, we visited examples of DRR in action at a community level. The countryside around the active volcano of Merapi (see Map) is a very process active environment with many lahars and debris floods filling the river channels. There are about 270 gravel entrapment dams on the rivers running off the mountain and extraction of gravel is a large local industry.

Continue reading DRR in action around Merapi

Molucca Sea Earthquake

The magnitude M7.1 earthquake located in the Molucca Sea yesterday reminded us of the hazards faced by the Indonesians on a daily basis. Fortunately, at a depth of 46 km, it seems it caused little damage. The closest large city was Mandano which experienced earthquake shaking at about MMIV according to the USGS.

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The StIRRRD team was en-route to Jakarta when it occurred,

Continue reading Molucca Sea Earthquake