Yogyakarta, Indonesia (27/5/2019). As a country which is located above the Indo-Australian Plate Tectonics, Indonesia often experiences earthquakes range from low until destructive ones. This tectonically earthquake is not only the cause of quake Indonesian territory but also volcanoes. Having 127 volcanoes which spread-out all-over Indonesia’s territory, except Kalimantan island, volcanic eruption causes a volcanic earthquake. Reminiscing 13 years of destructive Yogyakarta’s earthquake, UMY welcomes 5 architecture students from Curtin University, Perth, Australia, to do 10 weeks internship at Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre (MDMC), Centre for Disaster and Environment Studies, and Muhammadiyah Environmental Council which was held at Postgraduate Meeting Room today.

The welcoming remarks opened by the Executive Director, Cooperation and International Affairs of UMY, Eko Priyo Purnomo, Ph.D. Eko delivered a glance of Indonesian and Yogyakarta-Javanese cultures to equip the students living in Yogyakarta. “Yogyakarta is a very affordable city for the student where everything is cheap”, said Eko.

New Colombo Plan offers students the opportunity to engage with academics to contribute and to solve global issues by having exchange ideas and learning new things from mutual cooperation. One of the major environmental issues in Indonesia is its disaster potential. Known for its “Ring of Fire”, Indonesia is undoubtedly fragile for its security in terms of environmental sectors.

Rahmawati Husein, Ph.D, Director for Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Centre, spoke to the students during the session that Muhammadiyah has been doing its best effort to lower the lost from disaster since 1970, even though, MDMC was established in 2010, 9 years ago. She added, “mitigating factors is the important key to minimize the lost whether for life or property”. There are two types of disaster, namely: natural disaster and man-made disaster.

MDMC, as a non-governmental organization, plays an important role to help the government in giving services to the community on how to deal with the disaster. Rahmawati added students are expected to learn how Indonesia has dealt with the disasters both natural and man-made, since long time ago. As architecture students, they can use the knowledge to develop a design which fits on the conditions of Indonesia or every country where disasters potentially occur.

For natural disaster, Yogyakarta has regularly experienced earthquake – as it is located above Earth plates – and volcanic eruption, Dean Jazaul Ichsan, Ph.D of Faculty of Engineering stated. Mount Merapi, one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, erupts at least once every 3 years. The last worst eruption was in 2010 where thousands of people lost its life and many properties were collapsed. Not only earthquake and volcanic eruption, but also landslide. Jazaul Ichsan expects students can share how Australia secures its building from disaster potentials. By the end of this programme, both UMY and Curtin University can get mutual benefits and share it to the better life of mankind.