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Indonesia to install early warning system for landslides

JAKARTA, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday ordered authorities to establish an early warning system in areas vulnerable to landslides following the landslide in Central Java that killed at least 82 people, an official said here.

"The president has ordered the BNPB to install an early warning devise in areas vulnerable to landslides," said Syamsul Maarif, head of the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management ( BNPB).

Maarif said the agency would cooperate with experts and officials from universities, the Ministry of Research, Technology and High Education, and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology to carry out the order.

The government would also conduct training for those living in landslide-prone areas, Maarif said.

In addition, relocation of the people living in the danger zone remains one of the main priorities at the moment, he added.

Friday's landslide in Jemblung village of Banjarnegara district buried about 150 houses and left at least 82 people dead, more than 22 people missing, and forced over 1,300 to flee homes, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency, told Xinhua via phone on Wednesday.

Around 40.9 million people live in areas prone to landslides in Indonesia, statistics from the BNPB showed.

The vast archipelago country of Indonesia is frequently hit by landslides during heavy downpours.

The Indonesian government had installed an early warning system for tsunami in areas near coastlines and conducted drills and training for people living in those areas after the mega tsunami in Aceh province in December 2004 that killed over 170,000 people.

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