Indonesian President Joko Widodo Orders Purchase Of Tsunami Detectors That Can Provide Early Warnings

An aerial view of Anak Krakatau volcano during an eruption at Sunda strait in South Lampung, Indonesia, December 23, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Bisnis Indonesia/Nurul Hidayat/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS

The disaster hit without warning. Hundreds of thousands of people have died before as a result of Tsunami. The country is just ordering for Tsunami Detectors from United States of America.

Many of the hundreds of people who died when tsunami hit the Indonesian coast saturday Night  were nowhere near shelter. Quite simply, they had no idea it was coming.That’s because despite a history of tsunamis caused by volcanoes and earthquakes, Indonesia has not had an effective early warning system for years.

Saturday’s disaster isn’t the first time Indonesia’s disaster readiness has been criticized this year. In September, more than 2,000 people were killed after a tsunami and earthquake struck western Sulawesi, with many complaining they were caught unawares.

Also, over July and August, a series of earthquakes hit the northern Lombok region, sparking landslides and collapsing buildings that left over 400 people dead.

On Monday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geological Agency (BMKG) to purchase tsunami detectors “that can provide early warnings to community.

“Widodo claimed the tsunami which struck over the weekend was beyond Indonesia’s currently ability to predict.

“Usually it was preceded by earthquake. That’s why the residents and visitors in Carita and Labuan beaches and Tanjung Lesung and Sumur beaches were not prepared to escape,” he said.

BMKG chief Dwikorita Karnawati said the agency would look to install tidal gates to detect waves near land, admitting the existing system was unable to warn of the tsunami ahead of time.

“This (tsunami) is caused by several factors. Our censors did not sound early warning because they are for tectonic activity not volcanic activity. That’s why we are in coordination with other agencies such as the maritime and geology agencies,” Dwikorita said.

The waves destroyed hundreds of buildings, sweeping away cars and uprooting trees in several popular tourist destinations including the Tanjung Lesung beach resort, west Java.

Footage shared on social media showed a large wave crashing into a tent in the resort, in which popular Indonesian rock band Seventeen was performing.

The tsunami struck at 21:30 local time (14:30 GMT) during a local holiday, with few of the warning signals that might have come had it been generated by an earthquake.

Sea water did not recede as it would with an earthquake tsunami and experts say that even if there had been warning buoys near the volcano, there would have been minimal alert time.

On Saturday, giant waves crashed into coastal towns on the islands of Sumatra and Java, killing at least 281 people and injuring 1,016.

It is thought that volcanic activity set off undersea landslides which in turn generated the killer waves.

Anak Krakatau erupted again on Sunday, spewing ash and smoke.

Video shot from a charter plane captured the magnitude of the volcanic event in the Sunda Strait, between Sumatra and Java.

The spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, told a news conference today that another tsunami is a possibility because of the continued volcanic eruptions of Anak Krakatau.

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