Indonesians die again without official warning

Posted on July 19, 2006  /  1 Comments

What will it take?

2004 December 26th

2005 March 28th

2006 July 17th

Three tsunamis within less than two years; and the clueless Indonesian government can’t still get its act together.

And faraway India is supposed to have issued a warning when there was no chance of a tsunami hitting India. CYA bureaucrat, I guess. A different error.

Sri Lanka radios are supposed to have carried the story within about 30 mts. If true, this is very good.

AP Report
Science and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman said Indonesia received the bulletins 45 minutes before the tsunami hit but did not announce them because they did not want to cause unnecessary alarm.

\”If it (the tsunami) did not occur, what would have happened?\” he told reporters in Jakarta, noting that there was no effective way to spread a warning without a system of sirens or alarms in place.

He said Indonesia now planned to speed up plans for a nationwide warning system.

Indonesia was hardest hit by a 2004 tsunami that killed at least 216,000 people in a dozen Indian Ocean nations _ with more than half the deaths occurring in Sumatra island\’s Aceh province.

Though the country started to install a warning system after that disaster, it is still in the early stages. The government had been planning to extend the alert system to Java _ which was hit by a quake in May that killed more than 5,800 people _ in 2007.

Answering reporters\’ questions as to why no warning was issued on Monday, Vice President Jusuf Kalla claimed there was no need because most people had fled inland after 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 said. However, of dozens of people interviewed by The Associated Press in Pangandaran on Tuesday, only one person said he felt a slight tremor. None said there was a mass movement of people to higher ground before the tsunami, though some residents recognized the danger when they saw the wall of water approaching.

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