Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Eleven provinces in Indonesia to suffer extended dry spell



Eleven provinces in Indonesia to suffer extended dry spell

Eleven provinces in Indonesia to suffer extended dry spell

Regions in at least 11 southern Indonesian provinces, some of which have gone more than seven months without rain, are expected to see the prolonged dry spell continue until December amid the worst dry season the country has experienced since 2015.

Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) on Saturday said that cities and regencies across Lampung, Banten, West and East Java, Yogyakarta, Bali, West and East Nusa Tenggara, as well as South and Southeast Sulawesi, had not seen rain for more than 61 days straight.

Buleleng in Bali and Sampang in East Java have not seen rain for more than 216 days, while East Sumba in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has suffered the longest at 249 days.

BKMG has raised the drought alert for the regions to its highest level, saying the chance of affected-areas receiving low-intense rainfall by December 23 was 70 per cent.

BMKG’s climate variability analysis head Indra Gustari said: “There are two factors: First is the weak El Nino phenomenon that we observed from the middle of last year until July this year. However, a more dominant factor is the relatively low sea surface temperature, a global phenomenon known as the positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).”

IOD, Indra said, was similar to El Nino but it occurred in the Indian Ocean instead of in the Pacific Ocean. It has three phases; neutral, positive and negative.

A positive IOD, which is currently being observed, means that part’s of Indonesia’s territorial waters in the eastern Indian Ocean is cooler, while the western waters near Africa are warmer.

This phase tends to cause droughts in Indonesia, as the low sea surface temperature slows down seawater evaporation and cloud formation, resulting in less rainfall. The positive IOD also slowed down the Asian monsoon, which greatly affects rainfall intensity in the country, according to Indra.

“Climate change is believed to contribute to strengthening the intensity [of the phenomenon] as the average global temperature keeps rising,” Indra told the Jakarta Post.

A 2013 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that the ocean had absorbed more than 93 per cent of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions since the 1970s, causing ocean temperatures to rise.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said ocean warming caused more extreme weather events.

The BMKG estimated that in 74 per cent of season zones in the country, the rainy season would start later than the 30-year average calculated between 1981 and 2010.

Southern Indonesia’s rainfall is expected to peak in January or February, with Indra warning of floods in the area around that time, as well as in December for the northern part of Sumatra and most of Kalimantan.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) recorded at least 256 villages across NTT, Central and West Java as well as Bali experiencing drought as of Friday.

In a statement released on Friday, BNPB spokesperson Agus Wibowo said local administrations had been distributing water to their residents using their regional budget, adding that the agency would provide emergency funds if necessary.

Agus said North Central Timor regency in NTT had requested nearly $45,000 of emergency funds and Alor regency in NTT had asked for more than $65,000.

According to local agencies, the two regencies had 99 villages and 60 villages, respectively, suffering from drought, but the North Central Timor administration could only spend more than $7,000 to distribute water to 20 villages.

“We recommend that the regional administrations plant trees in critical areas and in rainwater-storing areas,” Agus said.

THE JAKARTA POST/ANN

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested