TDMRC Team with the City Mayor of Banda Aceh and the Head of Banda Aceh Disaster Management Agency.

TDMRC Delivers Coastal Hazards Research to City Mayor

TDMRC Team in the meeting session with City Mayor of Banda Aceh
TDMRC Team in the meeting session with City Mayor of Banda Aceh

TDMRC Unsyiah received an invitation from the Mayor of Banda Aceh to present our latest research on the impact of climate change induced sea level rise on the city’s coastal area. Our team of researchers, led by Dr. Khairul Munadi, paid the visit to the Mayor’s Office in downtown Banda Aceh on Friday, April 12, 2019.

Banda Aceh has a relatively low and flat topography, with an elevation of approximately 0.8 meter above sea level. This consequently means that Banda Aceh is highly vulnerably to coastal hazards such as tsunami and coastal flood. Despite not currently recurring very often, with the sea level rising at the rate of 7 mm per year, these hazards will very likely recur with higher frequency and intensity in the foreseeable future.

Driven by this concern, TDMRC conducts a series of research under the title of “Incorporating Climate Change Induced Sea Level Rise Information into Coastal Cities’ Preparedness toward Coastal Hazards.” The research was led by Dr. Syamsidik with the funding support from PEER-USAID. The team of researchers then carried out numerical simulations to predict the influence of sea level rise on the potential of tsunami and coastal floods in Banda Aceh in the course of 50 and 100 years.

The simulations show that in 50 years, when the sea level has risen by 35 cm, about 184 hectares of the city will be inundated by coastal flood. Whereas in the course of 100 years, with 70 cm rise of seal level, tsunami waves will reach upto 4 kilometers inland, expanding the inundation area by 1.3 times. This case was modeled to the 2004 Great Indian Ocean Tsunami. In addition, in the 100 year scenario, coastal flood will cover about 675 hectares of Banda Aceh.

To initiate mitigation against these hazards, TDMRC recommended the Government of Banda Aceh to compile a document of mitigation planning for tsunami and coastal flood that are amplified by climate change induced seal level rise. The document is then to be implemented collectively by all stakeholders, including government agencies, private parties, and the society.

TDMRC also put forward a few strategies to tackle the hazards. One of them is raising the Banda Aceh Outer Ring Road (BORR) by upto 5 meters above sea level to enable it to prevent floods from entering the inner city area and to break tsunami waves. BORR has been included in the city’s development planning but it is not natively planned to be an elevated road.

TDMRC’s presentation was received with appreciation by the Mayor of Banda Aceh, Mr. Aminullah Usman, S.E., Ak., M.M. He emphasized that research on longer term disaster risks is crucial to support the city’s development planning so that it becomes disaster resilient. “I fully support the long-sighted efforts being made by TDMRC. I have expectations that TDMRC researchers will continue to work with all our agencies so that critical findings like these could be integrated into our future planning,” states Mr. Aminullah.

Since our inception, TDMRC has maintained coordinations with various government agencies at national and regional levels. Among our key partners are the Aceh Disaster Management Agency (BPBA), Banda Aceh Disaster Management Agency, and Banda Aceh Development Planning Agency (BAPPEDA). We are constantly strengthening these partnerships to help build a strong and trusted disaster mitigation system in Aceh, with the goal to make the province resilient towards future disasters.