The recent cyclone that hit East Nusa Tenggara has been catastrophic and affected several main islands in the province. Given the name Seroja, the tropical cyclone caused 181 people killed, 47 people missing, and over 66,000 houses damaged. In light of the event, RDI collaborated with Charles Darwin University, Widya Mandira Catholic University, Kupang State Polytechnic, Nusa Cendana University, and the Institute of Resource Governance and Social Change to host a webinar with the topic of "The Impact of Seroja Cyclone to Buildings and Infrastructure in East Nusa Tenggara".
This webinar was held
online via Zoom meeting and YouTube livestream on May 17, 2021. It aimed to
provide a forum to discuss the key challenges of cyclone preparedness and
mitigation in Indonesia and describe information related to building code that
can be used as a mitigation tool against cyclone disaster. The event was
moderated by Aria Mariany S.T., M.T. and facilitated by Dr. Jonatan A. Lassa.
The first material brought by Rani Hendrikus primarily discussed the damages caused by the cyclone. Having scored 1 on Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, Seroja Cyclone reportedly brought about property damages in East Nusa Tenggara Governor Office, Church of Galed, and Kupang State Polytechnic. The report indicated few flaws in the planning and constructing phase of the buildings, especially on preventing dangerous winds from the east coast.
Kusa Bill, Jusun Wilson, and Dantje Sina reviewed that the damage pattern of the cyclone happened sequentially in people's housing. It started from the rooftop covering, roof structure strewn to its walls, and interiors. Their research showed that it is believed the damages are worsened by the weak structure of the house frames that was not planned as cyclone-prone housing. The need for cyclone-prone housing also must be supported with non-engineering design that is localized and adjusted to people's needs and abilities. Further socialization and education are also needed to change outdated housing buildings into safer, stronger, and more cyclone-prone housing.
The Impact of the Seroja Cyclone was discussed in a wider view by Abdul Muhari from the National Agency for Disaster Management. The first effect of the cyclones always brought about mild damage to urban facades which were flown away by the dangerous winds. Moreover, the cyclone can also trigger heavy rains that will lead to other major problems such as flash flood and debris flow that happened to Adonara, Lembata, and Alor Regencies. Socialization on disaster risk assessment needs to be raised especially to the areas that are more susceptible. The assessment should also be highlighted in the drafting of East Nusa Tenggara provincial disaster mitigation plan.
Lively discussion and exchange of
viewpoints were also featured in this webinar. Lastly, the speakers strongly
mentioned the need for further studies about the cyclone to increase
resilience in the community. All hands on deck, that is contribution and
support from various stakeholders, is also needed to prevent further damage
and injuries to the city. The mitigation process must also pay attention to
the structural aspects and socialization about cyclone-prone housing is key so
the community can achieve safety and comfort.