Disaster information to be spread via SMS

by Luh De Suriyani on 2012-12-12

The Bali Center for Disaster Control plans to develop an information system to inform the public of any possible natural disasters via short message service (SMS).

I Nyoman Sanjaya, head of the center’s early detection, data and information, told Bali Daily that the system would likely start operations early next year.

“The center plans to cooperate with telecommunication providers to accelerate the spread of information regarding various natural and manmade disasters, such as strong winds, tsunami, landslides, earthquakes and extreme weather conditions,” Sanjaya explained.

The information is to be delivered through the SOS gateways of all providers. “But the system is not yet ready for operation this year,” he said.

Sanjaya said that the system would allow people to learn of any possible disaster as quickly as possible.

“We are now facing uncertain extreme weather. In the last few days, Bali has experienced very hot weather during the day with the weather changing drastically in the afternoons bringing dark clouds. Strong winds have hit many areas in Badung, Denpasar and Tabanan,” he said.

Strong winds, locally known as puting beliung, have hit several areas in Kuta, Renon and Jl. Gatot Subroto in Denpasar.

On Tuesday afternoon, heavy, torrential rains hit most areas in Denpasar causing flooding in parts of the city.

In Tabanan, 70-year-old Ketut Landep was found dead in the river near his house in Pupuan village.

The center has not yet received any reports resulting from yesterday’s strong winds. Meanwhile, on Sunday, strong winds also hit Jembrana regency in west Bali damaging two houses.

Nurul Hilma, a weather analyst from Bali Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Office, said that the office had only been able to detect the arrival of strong winds and torrential rains on Tuesday at noon.

“We have already sent a warning about the imminent strong winds to Bali’s Search and Rescue (SAR) office and the Bali Center for Disaster Control,” said Hilma.

The office’s weather forecast for Tuesday was that Bali would have light rain and clouds. “But a few hours after the forecast was made, the weather just changed drastically. It is so uncertain now,” she said.

Wednesday (today)’s forecast is for light to moderate rain in Tabanan, Gianyar and south Badung.

“But the weather will likely change quickly. People have to anticipate extreme weather changes,” she warned.

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