Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Indonesia

by Anonymous on Jul. 17th, 2006

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean about 220 miles from Jakarta, Indonesia. It caused tsunamis which are most likely responsible for the death of at least 100 people and the injury of another 150 people. The earthquake was followed by strong aftershocks.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Liza's picture
Liza says:

The death toll from the tsunami now stands at 341, and more than 200 people are still missing and feared dead. 42,000 people fled their homes, adding to the confusion.

After the devastating tsunami of 2004, the Indonesian government started to install a warning system. So far, the system covers only Sumatra, not Java. And many Java residents report not feeling the earthquake that caused the tsunami, so many people had no warning at all. Others saw the ocean recede before the tsunami hit, recognized the danger, and headed for higher ground.

The Associated Press reports:

"A government minister said Indonesia received warnings that Monday's powerful undersea earthquake had the potential to trigger a tsunami, but it did not try to pass them on to threatened communities. ... Science and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman said Indonesia received warning bulletins from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and Japan's Meteorological Agency after the quake, but "we did not announce them." The warnings were sent about 45 minutes before the tsunami struck. Even if the government had tried to contact local authorities by phone, radio or e-mail, it's unclear how those warnings would have been passed along to residents or tourists on the beach with no system of sirens or alarms in place. Vice President Jusuf Kalla said no warning was issued locally because most people fled inland after they felt the earthquake, fearing a tsunami.

'After the quake occurred, people ran to the hills ... so in actual fact there was a kind of natural early warning system,' he told reporters in Jakarta.

Coastal residents reported that they did not feel the earthquake."

Here's my personal note: I read about parents frantically searching for their children, or little kids searching for their families, and I see photos of makeshift morgues with the bodies of the elderly and toddlers and tiny babies, and it seems absolutely criminal to me that these disasters happen again and again and again. Because of Indonesia's location on the Pacific's "ring of fire," earthquakes and tsunamis frequently affect the islands. It's not a question of IF it will happen again, only WHEN. There is no excuse for not alerting people to the danger!

posted on Tue, 07/18/2006 - 12:17pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Apparently the Indonesian government agrees, because they're now spending $143 million to install 500 sirens on cell phone towers that will provide tsunami warnings (kind of like the tornado sirens in Minnesota). They've also ordered all TV and radio stations to broadcast tsunami warnings.

posted on Tue, 08/01/2006 - 9:33pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options