Disasterchannel.co,- Far away there, there are clusters of beautiful islands that make all eyes can be spoiled by the curves of each coastline that is hit by blue waves. We can see a group of islands like this when we visit the Southwest Maluku region.
Apart from its rich and enchanting nature, the Southwest Maluku region has a culture that is no less interesting. This culture grows together with the adjustments or adaptations made by the humans who live there to continue their lives. For example, on Leti Island, in Nuwewang Village to be precise, they have a lot of local wisdom that requires disaster risk reduction. The Maluku region is an area with a high level of earthquake vulnerability, this causes them to have a lot of experience dealing with earthquakes and then this experience develops into knowledge that is applied in various forms, one of which is represented in a cultural form.
Based on Pakniany’s research (2022) the people in Nuwewang Village have local wisdom such as building traditional houses that are earthquake resistant and have a culture of hnyoli lieta. Hnyoli lieta which is the philosophy of life for the people of Nuwewang Village to always live in harmony and peace, helping each other when a disaster occurs.
Most of the people of Southwest Maluku have little knowledge about the threat of earthquakes in this region. They do not understand that the Timor Sea is a basin of the fore arc area of the Australian Plate which is moving northward, this area is an area with great potential for tectonic earthquakes. Even on May 27, 2022, the Southwest Maluku region experienced an earthquake with a magnitude of M6.5 at a depth of 104 km which damaged several buildings.
Living in an earthquake-prone area makes the people of Nuwewang Village often experience earthquakes. When an earthquake occurs, the villagers will spontaneously take steps to save themselves by shouting “Opruru Ampuapenu o”. The word Opruru Ampuapenu “itself means the rocking ground has come.
Opruru Ampuapenu o’s screams were then accompanied by the sound of tifa and sofar as a clear sign that an earthquake had occurred. This shout was carried out as one of the early warnings on a local scale, so that other people could immediately save themselves and avoid the possibility of a disaster by immediately leaving their homes and looking for a safe place.
In addition to having early warning based on local knowledge, the people of Nuwewang Village also have local knowledge of building traditional houses that are ground against earthquakes. Their ancestors left architectural remains in the form of traditional buildings made of wood and bamboo. Houses with wood-based materials will be more elastic when exposed to earthquake shocks. So the loss due to damage to the building is not severe.
Local knowledge about disasters which is represented in the cultural form of the people of Nuwewang Village is very rich. This village is one of thousands of villages that has valuable knowledge in dealing with disasters. There are still many forms of early warning and inspirational stories from other villages that we must continue to explore to add to our knowledge base which can make us more resilient in facing disasters. (LS)
Pakniany, Y., Tiwery, W. Y., & Rakuasa, H. (2022). Mitigasi Bencana Gempa Bumi Berbasis Kearifan Lokal di Desa Nuwewang Kecamatan Pulau Letti Kabupaten Maluku Barat Daya. J. Pemikir. Islam dan Ilmu Sos, 15(1), 1-9.