All posts by richardwoodsnz

Tsunami Risk Reduction activities a highlight for Comparative Study Tour participants

On 8 April, comparative study tour participants learnt about tsunami risk reduction activities in place in Wellington.  Dan Neely from the regional emergency management office (WREMO) provided insight into the internationally awarding winning blue line initiative.  The initiative is much more than blue paint marking the maximum credible tsunami inundation extent.  It provides a platform for communities to understand their potential tsunami hazards, the associated risks and how they might collectively manage these risks.

Participants visited a street in the Island bay community where the blue line initiative was initially developed.  Dan explained that the project has been effective at raising community awareness on what to do in the event of strong, long earthquake; more than conventional signage mounted on poles.  Also, schools in the blue line areas have conducted evacuation drills with one school fundraising to construct a staircase so children and staff can evacuate quicker and more safely in the event of an earthquake.

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In the tsunami safe zone! StIRRRD comparative study participants learn about the Wellington blue line initiative.

Near the coast in Island Bay, Dan showcased public education messageboards that have been erected in locations where the public gather, such as playgrounds.  These strategically placed boards provide information on evacuation zones, key routes and what to do in the event of an earthquake.

There was substantial discussion from our Indonesian participants and many questions on implementation of the project.  These discussions continued on the following day where participants presented their draft DRR action plans, some of which had been amended to include similar community-led initiatives.

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Study visit participants are briefed by Dan on Island Bay tsunami risk.

Other StIRRRD districts, from the 2015 comparative study tour, are also considering similar projects.  Pesisir Selatin has been in discussion with StIRRRD team members on how they might apply the blue lines project in their local context.  Support by BNPB, the national disaster agency, the role out of this project would be a first for Indonesia.  Watch this space!

Morowali Focus Group Discussion: Memetakan Partisipasi Perempuan dalam kegiatan Pengurangan Resiko Bencana (PRB)

Bencana yang sama bisa membawa dampak yang berbeda bagi kelompok gender yang berbeda. FGD ini dilakukan pada hari Selasa, 18 Februari 2016 di Kantor BPBD Kabupaten Morowali. Kegiatan FGD ini  tidak hanya melibatkan para perempuan akan tetapi juga para laki laki. Selain perwakilan dari beberapa lembaga pemerintah di Kabupaten Morowali, juga melibatkan perwakilan kelompok masyarakat yang berasal dari Karang Taruna, Majelis Mualimat dan NGO.
Kegiatan ini bertujuan untuk; 1) menjelajahi konteks lokal seperti konteks geografis dan konteks sosial (peran gender), 2) menjelajahi pemahaman masyarakat terhadap ancaman bencana di daerah mereka,  3) memetakan masalah dan kerentanan yang timbul ketika berhadapan dengan bahaya dan bencana, 4) relasi gender dalam kegiatan PRB, dan mengeksplorasi gagasan dari pemerintah, masyarakat dan para pihak yang terkait untuk perencanaan program PRB di masa mendatang.

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Better Recognition of Morowali Earthquake Risk

Held on 16 February, Morowali’s Action Plan workshop received positive feedback from local stakeholders and parliamentarians.  Having experienced frequent flooding and coastal abrasion issues in recent years, local authorities have been concentrating reduction efforts on mitigating the impacts of these natural hazards, largely through physical works.

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Morowali action plan workshop participants, 16-17 February 2016.
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Central Sulawesi, Indonesia showing locations of major active faults. Image: Dr Agung Setianto, UGM.

Morowali’s Vulnerability Profile

Working through Morowali’s vulnerability profile showed that while flooding and coastal abrasion are frequent occurrences, the threat of large earthquakes affecting the district is very high.  Due to the presence of active faulting across Central Sulawesi and the specific location of some faults (see image), Morowali ranks in the top 40 out of 500 districts prone to earthquake activity across Indonesia.

Earthquakes: So what’s the risk Morowali?

In his presentation to workshop participants, Professor Iman Satyarno from UGM University, described the prevalence of the Matano Fault in central Morowali (see image).  On 16 April 2012, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred, located on or nearby this fault.  The earthquake heavily damaged houses in two communities while also damaging Morowali’s government buildings.  Two years later another earthquake occurred further to the east, causing less damage but still being felt across central Morowali.  This recurrent activity is a reminder of the prevalent earthquake risk across the district.

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Morowali District, Central Sulawesi showing the location of the active Matano Fault. Image: Dr Agung Setianto, UGM.

Earthquakes: What are the DRR options?

While large earthquakes are relatively infrequent in Morowali, compared to other natural hazards, their impact may be substantially larger than the combined impact of smaller events.  This concept has been recognised by members of local government, the emergency management agency (BPBD) and other key stakeholders attending the workshop.

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Morowali workshop participants discuss the district’s vulnerability profile. Photo: Richard Woods.

These members of the community are now considering many initiatives to reduce the risk from future earthquakes.  Such initiatives include methods to strengthen existing buildings, socialisation of information on building earthquake resistant structures, microzonation of land in close proximity to active faults and regulations for future development and construction.

A Quick Win for Morowali and StIRRRD

Having a wide representation of stakeholders to consider disaster risk reduction initiatives is key to ensuring efforts are coordinated.  On 17 February, the StIRRRD team visited the local parliament to raise awareness of the project’s focus on Morowali District and seek support for the community’s action plan going forward.

During this meeting, local parliamentarians (DPRD) raised concerns regarding Morowali’s earthquake risk, particularly in regard to the Matano Fault, which had only been located in the district after boundary changes in recent years.  DPRD representatives attending the previous day’s workshops were able to convey the district’s vulnerability profile to decision makers within a matter of hours.  As a result, Morowali is now considering implementing earthquake resistant regulations and micro-zonation of properties in close proximity to the Matano Fault.

A great result for Morowali District and StIRRRD team from their short visit!  The StIRRRD team will return to Morowali later in 2016 to provide feedback on the district’s risk reduction action plan.