Bengkulu Archives — LIRNEasia

Chanuka Wattegama who authored the primer on the use of ICTs in disaster mitigation for the UNDP looks at the responses of littoral nations from South Africa to Thailand to the Bengkulu event. Nation special If the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a disaster marked by inaction, what happened on September 12, 2007 was marked by plenty of action, but a dearth of right action. It was certainly not an exemplary implementation of pre-determined and meticulously planned disaster avoidance activities. Did it make the vulnerable communities feel more secure? Or did it merely add to the confusion and chaos?
Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi, Leader of the Coastal Oceanography Group at the School of Environmental Systems Engineering of the Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders carried out a real-time analysis of the tsunami alerts and warnings around the Indian Ocean basin following the massive Bengkulu earthquakes off the coast of southern Sumatra, Indonesia on 12 September, 2007. In his paper, Pattiarachi discusses background for tsunami generation, the present status of the tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean, and the role of deep-water tsunameters in the detection of tsunamis on 12 September. For more details, see Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System: Example from the 12th September 2007 Tsunami.
The HazInfo paper titled “Last-Mile Hazard Warning in Sri Lanka: Performance of WorldSpace Satellite Radios for Emergency Alerts”, coauthored by Srinivasan Rangarajan, PhD (Senior Vice President Engineering, WorldSpace), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University), Gordon Gow, PhD (Assistant Professor, University of Alberta), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, LIRNEasia) was accepted for oral/poster presentation at the Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications (WPMC) at The Birla Science and Technology Center in the heart of Jaipur, India, December 03 – 06, 2007. WorldSpace, a lead technology partner in the HazInfo research project, field tested 16 Addressable Radios for Emergency Alerts (AREAs) in the Sarvodaya Communities and 34 AREAs in the Sarvodaya District Centers. Although the AREA solutions lacked bi-directional communication and seemed the least effective, the AREA solution proved to be the most reliable that worked with utmost certainty and greatest efficiency even when GSM and CDMA cells were deactivated for over 2 months, at the beginning of this year, during military operations in the conflict prone North-East regions of Sri Lanka. The HazInfo research introduced a concept called “complementary redundancy”, where coupling the AREA addressable/broadcast technology with a GSM mobile phone or CDMA nomadic phone improves the overall performance (reliability and effectiveness) […]
Thailand’s response to Bengkulu was far superior to that of others.  However, an excellent editorial in the Bangkok Post points out how they could do even better.  The para below fits perfectly with our interest in developing a fast, reliable system for informing the media.   Maybe I should send the letter we sent to the Sri Lanka DMC to Smith Dharmasarojana. Bangkok Post : General news As a first step, the Centre must immediately set up and use channels to all media within Thailand, domestic and foreign.
It has been a practice at LIRNEasia to write an assessment of the responses to potentially tsunamigenic events in the region. We commented on Nias and Pangandaran. Now that the discussion on the response is starting, here is our take: Lessons from the Sri Lanka tsunami warnings and evacuation of September 12-13, 2007 The tragedy of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was the absence of any official warning. The September 12th Bengkulu earthquake shows that this is unlikely to be the case in the future. We have seen that the new institutions created since the 2004 tsunami have the will and the capacity to act.