Natural disasters overwhelm Indonesia

by mdr on Oct. 28th, 2010

Mount Merapi
Mount MerapiCourtesy Wikimedia Commons
Hundreds of people are still missing and feared drowned from the tsunami triggered by the large earthquake that struck Indonesia earlier this week. So far 340 deaths have been blamed on the 10-foot waves that washed over many of the tiny and remote islands in the Mentawai chain. The tsunami warning system set in place after 2004's devastating tsunami apparently malfunctioned due to vandalism to some of its expensive sensors. But local officials say the tsunami came on so quickly that even if they had been functioning the warnings would have been useless. Four hundred people are still missing, and several aftershocks, coupled with changing weather conditions have made search and rescue efforts difficult. Meanwhile, to the east on the island of Java, Mount Merapi, has erupted again and is adding to Indonesia's woes. Some scientists think the two disasters may be linked.

SOURCES
BBC report
Sydney Morning Herald story

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