On 26 Dec. 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.6 on the Richter Scale struck the western coast of the Island Island of Sumatera causing Tsunami and killing more than 170 thousand people in the Province of Aceh.
Many countries have shown solidarity and provide various kinds of supports including US$ 7 billion in finance, for the reconstruction in Aceh.
Since then, Indonesia has been struck by many other earthquakes the deadliest ones being in Yogjakarta on May 2006 that killed more than 6,000 people and West Sumatera last September killing more than 1,100 people and destroying thousands of building, roads, bridges.
In spite of our experiences in handling similar earthquakes, some people assumed that the rescue and reconstruction efforts are slow. This assumption is caused by lack of understanding on the difficult conditions in the place of tragedy.
Considering the above, I hope that the authorities, especially the National Natural Disaster Recovery Agency, the National Search and Rescue Agency, would make better efforts to anticipate future earthquakes. For example by providing information about natural disasters that might struck Indonesia, and building & improving early warning systems.
Further, the authority must also be strict in granting permits for buildings, for pumping ground water, cutting forests trees, etc.
Although the above efforts would not guarantee that there would not be any more casualties, however they could at least minimize the impact.
Photo - impact of the Tsunami in Aceh : Courtesy of East Asian Times