BMKG: Flood alert in North Sulawesi & North Maluku

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Growth of the Tropical Cyclone Starter 94W (blue circle) in the Pacific Ocean north of Papua, Monday (12/04/2021)

IO – The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Body (Badan Meteorologi Klimatologi Geofisika – “BMKG”) reports that Tropical Cyclone Starter 94W is observed growing in the Pacific Ocean area north of Papua. Earlier, Indonesia was hit by the Seroja Tropical Cyclone, which caused flash floods, landslides, and high waves in the East Nusa Tenggara region on 5 April 2021.

“On 12 April 2021 (07.00 WIB), the Tropical Cyclone Starter 94W was observed forming around the Western Pacific north of Papua, at -5.8 N -141.1 E coordinates, to be exact. It is part of the monitoring area of Jakarta Tropical Cyclone Warning Center (“TCWC”),” said BMKG Deputy of Meteorology, Guswanto, on Monday (12/04/2021). “The regions that might be affected by Tropical Cyclone Starter 94W are: East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, North Maluku, West Papua, and Papua. Areas that must be especially alert for potential flash floods in terms of impact in the next two days are North Sulawesi and North Maluku.”

Guswanto went on to say that extreme waves 1.25 to 2.5 meters in height might rise up in the central and eastern parts of Sulawesi Sea, the northern waters of Sangihe Islands all the way to Talaud Islands, the Maluku Sea, the northern and eastern waters of Halmahera, the Halmahera Sea, and the Pacific Ocean north of Halmahera. High waves of 2.5 to 4.0 meters might be seen in the waters off Raja Ampat-Sorong, the waters of Manokwari, the waters of Biak, Cendrawasih Bay, the waters of Jayapura-Sarmi, and the Pacific Ocean north of West Papua. Waves 4.0 to 6.0 meters high might also blow up in the Pacific Ocean north of Papua.

With this weather prediction from the BMKG, the people are requested to remain alert for and careful about potential extreme weather. All stakeholders, whether agencies or communities, are expected to prepare everything necessary to anticipate the impact of possible hydrometeorological disasters, such as deluges, landslides, flash floods, inundations, and falling trees.

Head of the BMKG Climate and Air Quality Information Production Sub-Division Siswanto stated that the impact of global warming has reached Indonesia. Among others, it affects the growth and development of tropical cyclones. In Indonesia, a number of BMKG surface temperature measuring stations indicate a trend of rising temperatures, varying by region. Tropical cyclones are far from a new phenomenon. They have occurred at least several times before. For example, records show that Flores was hit by a cyclone that killed thousands of people back in 1973. In Jakarta, daily temperature records from 1866 (the time of Dutch occupation) to 2010 show an increase of 1.6o Celsius over 130 years.

“Local heating in Jakarta is 1.4 times stronger than global warning at 0.86 Celsius in the same period,” Guswanto said. “Our data shows that cyclone starters are more liable to occur, grow, develop, and cross Indonesian territory or nearby areas more frequently in the current climate era.”

He went on to add that the heat content of the sea is the energy source for tropical cyclones. Therefore, they grow and develop more easily because of global warning. In other words, he warns that “Increased global warning causes the trend of more frequent and stronger tropical cyclones in the current climate era.” (eka)