2018 has been a year marked by large-scale natural disasters in Indonesia. A series of earthquakes from July-August in Lombok lefts hundreds dead, and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Another massive earthquake on 28 September then devastated Central Sulawesi’s capital city, Palu, and nearby Donggala district. The quake triggered both a tsunami and destructive soil liquefaction, killing thousands of people. These events are consistent with a broader pattern of disaster vulnerability in Indonesia – one recent study ranked the country as suffering the fourth highest frequency of natural disasters in the world, and the eighth most deaths.


In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae speaks with two of Indonesia’s leading experts on disaster management to ask how Indonesia anticipates and responds to disasters on this scale, and whether more could be done to mitigate the risk and impact of such disasters ahead of time.


The first guest is Professor Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who from 2005-2009 headed the national government’s Aceh-Nias Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency, or BRR, formed in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Professor Kuntoro was also head of the Yudhoyono government’s Presidential Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, and is currently chairperson of the board of the School of Business and Management at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).


The second guest is Dr Rahmawati Husein, deputy chair of the Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre, and a member of the advisory board of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB). She has also been elected to the advisory board of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.


In 2018, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the Singapore Management University and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Imang Jasmine.



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