Mt. Bromo ~ Another pending disaster?

When I read the news on Detik regarding the increasing activities of Mt. Bromo, I was wondering whether Indonesia will be ready to handle another slow-onset disaster. Located in the centre of Java Island, Mt. Merapi has just exploded on 26 Nov 2010. It is really too soon to know that the status of Mt. Bromo ( located at East Java) has been raised to the highest level of alertness.

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(scenic view of Mt. Bromo, East Java)

If I were the head of the Badan Nasional Penanggulan Bencana (BNPB), which is the national bureau responsible for managing disasters, I would probably having a severe headache on the series of disaster- Mentawai Tsunami, Merapi Eruption and Wasior Papua Flood. Nevertheless, we still have to face the challenges. The chart below depicts the conceptual framework of disaster management.

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I am really glad to know that Palang Merah Indonesia (Red Cross Indonesia) has expressed readiness to establish command post in the slopes of Mount Bromo, on Thursday noon (25/11). According to the plan, PMI will establish the command post with a distance of 5-7 km from the summit of Mount Bromo. This can be considered as the “Preparedness” step according to the conceptual framework.

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(large amount of gases and volcanic ash released by Mt.Bromo, 24 Nov 2010)

Recent news reported by PMI Probolinggo Crisis Center, local government has issued an announcement that the area, a distance of up to 3 km from the top of Bromo must be sterilized and become a disaster prone area. Lautan Pasir, savanna desert, the “Teletubbies” hill and Penajakan 1 now has been a restricted area for tourists and residents. It is feared, toxic sulfur gases from Mount Bromo would endanger visitors and local people. From here, we can see that the local government has perform “mitigation” to minimise the impact should the volcano erupts.

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From the lesson of Mt. Merapi Eruption, I hope the health authority at the Mt.Bromo region is actively preparing for the disaster by purchasing and storing the necessary medical equipments and drugs. Special attention has to be paid to the health facility treating breathing difficulty and burn injury so as to increase the efficiency of managing massive number of such patients.

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Reference: Hendro Wartatmo, Conceptual Frame work of Disaster and Disaster Management

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