Indonesia

Indonesia builds crisis centers with French support

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JAKARTA, May 28, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --

The Indonesian government has commenced the construction of crisis centers for natural disaster mitigation in Jakarta, West Sumatra and Aceh with assistance from the French government, local press said Monday.

The Natural Disaster Operation Control Centers are being built by the National Disaster Mitigation Coordination Agency (Bakornas BP) at a cost of 5.1 million euro (approximately 6.68 million U.S. dollars).

The locations are deemed the most at risk of disaster, especially threats of earthquakes and tsunamis, reported English daily The Jakarta Post.

"The government wants similar facilities to be built in all provinces throughout Indonesia, which has been referred to as a ' disaster supermarket.' However, due to the limited availability of funds, initially these facilities will be built in three provinces," Tabrani said.

Tabrani, an official from the agency, said the development of the facilities was aided by a memorandum of understanding signed with the French government in July 2005.

Assistance totaling 5.1 million euro was given to Indonesia by the French government in the form of equipment and management assistance for disaster prevention efforts, he said.

"The equipment for the disaster centers will be ready soon and in Jakarta the construction of the facility started on May 25. In Padang (West Sumatra) construction will commence on June 18 and in Banda Aceh it will commence as soon as the center in Padang is completed," he said.

Computer facilities in the three centers will be linked online to the Bakornas BP headquarters in Jakarta. Over 35 managers have been trained to handle programs in the three provinces, and 25 operators for each province will also be trained.

Bruno Maestracci, international project manager for the French government, said at least three officials to be in charge of managing the three centers had been invited to France to observe similar systems there.

The centers will help governors and local administrators see incidents occurring in real time, thereby enabling them to send information to the central data collection agency, he said.

If the primary system using the Internet and free telephone lines is out of order, a second system using GSM networks could be used. If both are out of order, a third system using satellite technology will be available, he said.

Each quake-proof facility will be equipped with five computer units and radio communication networks, he said, adding that they will be backed up by a technical room, which will be used to compile relevant data on a daily basis.