Indonesia to face drier dry season this year

Climate observation map. (ANTARA/Laily Rahmawaty). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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JAKARTA, Jun 21, 2019, ANTARA. Forecasting that this year’s dry season will be drier as compared to that of the previous year, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has reminded the regional authorities to intensify vigilance over possible forest fires and droughts, reported the ANTARA.

“Regions which were affected by droughts during the June, July and August period of last year, should be vigilant this year,” Adi Ripalsi, head of the agency’s climate information analysis sub-unit, said here on Friday, adding, “Last year, the precipitation during the dry season was less than 20 millimeters a month, and this year, it can go lower.”

According to BMKG, nearly all regions in Java, notably West Java, Central Java and East Java, have begun to experience the dry season, which is expected to hit its peak in July and August 2019. However, local rains continue to lash Bogor, West Java.

“But not all regions have rains, such as in Jonggol and Parung which have less rainfall,” he said.

He also reminded people living in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Sulawesi, and Sumatra to be vigilant over the impacts of droughts. The dry season is expected to reach its peak from August to September in these regions.

“NTB and NTT are harvesting rainwater for farming, and hence, this needs to be supported by irrigation water,” he said.

Based on data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBN), droughts hit Banten, West Java, Central Java, DI Yogyakarta, East Java, NTB, NTT, and Lampung last year. On Java Island, the prolonged dry season had triggered wildfires in forest areas located on the slopes of several mountains in the Central, East, and West Java Provinces.

Among the mountains hit by wildfires in 2018 were Mount Merbabu, Mount Sumbing, Mount Slamet, and Mount Sindoro in Central Java Province; Mount Argopuro and Mount Sadran in East Java Province; Mount Ciremai in West Java Province; and Mount Lawu located on the border of the provinces of Central and East Java.

Reporter: Fardah Assegaf

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