Thailand conducted tsunami preparedness drills in 2005. Now Indonesia has too. Organizations such as Sarvodaya/LIRNEasia in Sri Lanka have conducted drills, but isn’t it time the government got involved directly?
Indonesia said its tsunami drill on Bali was aimed at raising the public’s awareness of safety measures and testing technology deployed over the last two years.Warnings were sent from the capital, Jakarta, to radios along the beach. Sirens wailed and crowds, many of them school children, briskly walked inland, accompanied by Indonesia’s minister of research and technology and a handful of foreign tourists.
“The biggest challenge is working with the people to make them aware,” said German geologist Harald Spahn, who is helping Indonesia set up its alert network. “It is a really complex job that many people underestimate.”