I’ve been writing about Indonesia’s tsunami buoys for a while. This was when I was trying to dissuade people in Sri Lanka of the need for our own tsunami detection system. We are not located in an earthquake zone and thus only vulnerable to teletsunamis that come from the Sunda Trench. Indonesia and Thailand need to sensors because of their proximity to the Trench.
But little did I know that the Indonesian system suffered from the project syndrome: money for installation but nothing for maintenance.
Indonesia began deploying a chain of German-built buoys less than a year after the Indian Ocean tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, which killed 230,000 people in more than a dozen countries, including around 177,000 in the Indonesian province of Aceh alone.
“There were 22 buoys, and as of last year, the last of them were not working due to them breaking down, or from theft or vandalism,” Mr. Sutopo said.
“And we don’t have funding for maintenance or to replace them,” he said.