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Bandung Seismic Cities Roundtable




On 30 th April 2019, RDI and Coventry University held the Seismic Cities Roundtable Meeting in Orbital Galeri Bandung, Indonesia. The event was attended by, among others, government officials e.g. BPBD West Java Province, representiatives from the fire departnment, organisations such as Disaster Risk Reduction Forum (FPRB), Indonesia Bhadra Utama Foundation (IBU Foundation), and SOS Children. This roundtable event is one of a series of events which are included within the Seismic Cities Project. Other notable events of the project also includes: Gallery opening night, performance night, community event, and artist talk. These events are aimed at increasing the awareness and preparedness of communities in Bandung, Indonesia while also learning from lessons learned from Santiago, Chile— an area which also has similar seismic characteristics to Bandung, but has recent experiences with earthquakes.



Picture 1. Prof. Gavin Sullivan

Speakers of the roundtable event were Prof. Gavin Sullivan (Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations – Coventry University), and Dr. Ekbal Hussein (British Geological Survey). Prof. Gavin Sullivan explained briefly on the background of the Seismic Cities project, including the project’s aims: (1) interdisciplinary
work & extension from Santiago to Bandung; (2) Conduct interviews and focus groups discussion; (3) art as research practice framework (6) multimedia exhibition which facilitates ongoing dialogues between all stakeholders and engages the citizens of Bandung to learn from the example of Santiago; (7) arrange roundtable events. Prof. Gavin Sullivan also presented the Seismic City team research findings, some of them were: Lack of collective memory of previous ‘big’ earthquakes in Bandung, this resulted into communities not doing what is necessary to strengthen preparedness; people don’t call reocurring
earthquakes as ‘gempa’ but as ‘lini’; imagined earthquakes are causing panic because people would not know where to go, they tend to answer that they must go for open spaces and mistrusting their building structures; lack of open spaces; people tend to rely on information sources from TV, social media,
whatsapp, BMKG app, people are not disinterested or avoidant; communities in Bandung have a high curiosity to learn about how to strengthen preparedness from earthquakes, and; there are still several parties in the community which are still not included and exposed towards the government’s preparedness socialization efforts. Furthermore, he also emphasized that community resilience must be prioritized by all related stakeholders to create equitable resilience.


Picture 2. During Discussion

The second speaker of the event was Dr. Ekbal Hussein from the British Geological Survey (BGS). With his expertise in satellite imagery and remote sensing, he presented his initial research findings on the condition surrounding the Lembang Fault, such as the fault’s movement data including its creep rate. He also presented rough data on Bandung’s hazard, exposure, and vulnerability and he also expressed his need for accurate data from stakeholders to create a more accurate estimation of losses according to two scenarios: 6.5 MW and 7 MW.

After the two speakers have finished presenting, the event proceeded with a Q&A and discussion session. The audience actively participated in this session by making comments and raising critical questions pivotal to the Seismic Cities research longevity. Mr. Soma, the head of West Java Disaster Risk Reduction Forum asked Prof. Gavin and Dr. Ekbal on how far the Seismic Cities research and Dr. Ekbal’s research has been socialized towards key stakeholders to bolster preparedness and produce new regulations. Responding to this question, Prof. Gavin elaborated on how one of the next steps of this research is to conduct socialization towards related stakeholders, and Dr. Saut Sagala added that there are already a plethora of research on the study of the lembang fault, but these research haven’t been properly followed up by governmental steps. Continuous steps must be taken to socialize research findings to the government and continuously remind the government of the significance of available hazards and potential risks through effective and accessible channels. The session continued with discussion on other topics such as the potential of Dr. Ekbal’s research method through satellite sensing, the importance of developing applicable solutions for communities in villages, how this research can be better distributed in the community-level (e.g. exhibitions in community events: Independence day, etc.), the role of culture and local history in community preparedness, the inclusion of people with disability and children in preparedness efforts, and also the potential of science communicators for dissemination of research results to the wider public.

The event was closed with several announcements made by Prof. Gavin regarding the formation of an International Seismic Cities and Communities (ISSCC) in 2019, creation of ISSCC website beginning from July 2019, and an upcoming multi-stakeholder international conference focusing on seismic city and preparedness in Bandung, preferably in 2021 which can be attended by academicians, organisations of various levels, and community members, this conference will be focused on learning seismic experiences from other places (e.g. Palu, Central Sulawesi).