Nearly 20 per cent of Indonesia's territory has entered the dry season, says its meteorology agency

JAKARTA (Bernama): About 19 per cent of Indonesia’s territory, including Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, and both the northern and southern coasts of Java and Bali, is currently experiencing the onset of the dry season, expected to persist until September.

Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) head Dwikorita Karnawati forecasted that this dry spell will extend to Lampung, the Java Islands, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, and parts of South and Southeast Sulawesi by August.

"We have detected early hotspots in fire-prone areas, indicating a need for heightened vigilance against potential medium to high-risk levels,” she stated in a statement on Wednesday.

BMKG advised local authorities to replenish reservoirs in drought-prone regions and elevate groundwater levels in fire-vulnerable areas, particularly in peatlands.

Local authorities are urged to ensure adequate irrigation network connectivity from reservoirs to drought-affected areas to facilitate effective weather modification efforts and mitigate potential drought-related disasters.

Dwikorita also stressed the importance of optimising rainwater harvesting efforts in areas transitioning from the rainy season to the dry season, alongside ongoing mitigation measures against extreme wet hydrometeorological events.

In 2023, fires devastated almost one million hectares of land in Indonesia due to scorching weather and land clearing for new plantations, according to data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Sumatra emerged as the hardest-hit provinces by fires, with 187,574 hectares, 114,576 hectares, and 109,460 hectares, respectively.- Bernama

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