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    WUACD International Webinar Discusses Disaster Management and Mitigation

    In response to the impact of the earthquake that occurred last January in Mamuju City, West Sulawesi, the World University Association for Community Development (WUACD), Universitas Airlangga,  held an international webinar on this issue. Titled Airlangga Social Responsibility in Disaster Management and Mitigation, the discussion on Monday, February 8, 2021, highlighted the earthquake disaster in Mamuju as well as a possible prevention and handling efforts by the university.

    As a speaker, the Head of the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency Prof. Ir. Dwikorita Karnawati, M.Sc., Ph.D. conveyed various disaster scenarios and their handling following the case that occurred in Mamuju.

    According to her, there are two earthquake disaster scenarios that can occur in the Sulawesi region- an earthquake followed by aftershocks and an earthquake with tsunami potential. Both scenarios require the government’s responsiveness to establish shelters as well as appropriate mechanisms for handling residents.

    “Therefore, the role of academic institutions lies not only in social assistance but also in research and innovation, especially in sensors and earthquake and tsunami predictions,” she explained.

    Meanwhile, a professor of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) Prof. Dr. Ir. Krishna S. Pribadi highlighted his great concern on efforts to prevent the impact of disasters. He explained that from 2010-2019, Indonesia had experienced 20,702 natural disasters which caused social, material and casualty losses.

    Prof. Krishna also emphasised the importance of certain actions for prevention. These actions include disaster management planning, disaster risk reduction, prevention, integration into development plans, disaster risk analysis, education and training, development of technical standards for disaster management, and so on.

    Following these important steps in disaster management, Dr. Christrijogo Soemartono W. also shared UNAIR’s contribution to disaster management efforts. The chairman of Ksatria Airlangga Floating Hospital (RSTKA) explained how the floating hospital he led handled thousands of patients in the outer regions of Indonesia, including in Mamuju.

    “This year we have visited 43 islands and handled 14,000 patients. Our services are free and voluntary. Not only limited to the medical aspect, but also sanitation, socialization, trauma healing, and so on, ” he explained.

    Looking at the importance of the discussion, UNAIR Vice-Rector for Research and Community Development, Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman Tri Puspaningsih, M.Si stated in her remarks that this international webinar was the first WUACD regular summit discussing the topic of disaster management and mitigation.