Indonesia's wet season expected to arrive early

The wet season in some areas could start as early as September instead of the usual October, data from Indonesia's weather agency showed. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's wet season is expected to arrive early in most areas of the resource-rich country, with the peak of the rainy season seen occurring in December to January of next year, its weather agency BMKG said on Wednesday.

Indonesia is the world's biggest producer of palm oil and a major producer of staples such as rice.

The wet season in some areas could start as early as September, compared with the usual start in October, BMKG data showed.

BMKG chief Dwikorita Karnawati said the agricultural sector could take advantage of the earlier rainy season by bringing forward planting, but warned of the risk of potential floods.

"Even without extreme rainfall, it has been proven to cause floods, flash floods and landslides," she told a virtual news conference.

The agency forecast most areas will experience normal rainfall, while nearly 27 per cent of zones, including the main commodity-producing areas such as the southern part of Sumatra island, eastern Java and Kalimantan, will have heavier than normal precipitation.

Weather conditions in Indonesia in 2021 and 2022 were already wetter than normal, with some parts of Indonesia this year yet to enter the dry season.

Heavy rains slowed down coal mining activities and shipments in Indonesia last year, resulting in 614 million tonnes of coal output, lower than the 625 million tonnes targeted.

Indonesia, the world's biggest thermal coal exporter, aims to produce 663 million tonnes of coal this year.

BMKG also warned the authorities to stay on alert for potential forest fires, despite the wet weather in many areas.

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