Monday, December 28, 2009

Are we ready for Deadlier Earthquake?

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

8 comments:

The Chaos said...

Dang, that is some real damage done there. Hope it doesn't hit my country.

H. Nizam said...

The Chaos,

Very devastating, the memories cuts deeper than a knife.

colson said...

Whatever can be done in advance to limit disastrous consequences, sloud be done.


These days there has been a lot of commemorating of the Aceh Tsunami. I've read and seen quite a number of accounts by NGO's which have been involved with the aftermath. Generally speaking they report that the material part of the recovery has been pretty satisfactory. The psychological, social and economical recovery however seems to be pretty worrying.

Of course it's a huge asset that peace in Aceh was one of the by-products

Edwin's Personal Blog said...

You have a terrifying post title, Mas Harry ^_^
However we are happy to see Aceh recovered faster than we all ever thought before. And we do appreciate them having struggled for their sustainability, their life...

Duckham said...

Hallo Harry,

Gunung Merapi is smoking away right now 7.5 kms. from where I am sitting. The activity in the volcano is relatively easy to monitor and the information available is good. But earthquakes are a much bigger deal on predictions it seems, relying on movements in the tectonic plates that are almost impossible to predict.

Our area was lucky in the 2006 Yogya quake but Klaten and Bantul and South Yogya suffered very badly. We know many people who lost relatives and many who have been traumatised by the event, and are still suffering the consequences. Many too who lost all property. Property Insurance is available but it is very expensive for most people. Just near our house is a new development called Disaster Oasis which is designed specifically to help and rehabilitate people devastated by natural disaster. It is run by YAKKUM a Protestant charity with connections to the Bethesda Hospital Group. There are more needed like this I think.

H. Nizam said...

Colson,

I case of Aceh, the US$ 7 B aid enabled provision of sufficient materials. Although still can be heard protests by some victims who haven't got houses.
The peace that came after the tsunami has been a very great by-product of the tragedy.
But, there are the big problems of unemployment i.e. ex guerrillas, or ex Ganja planters.

The experiences in handling the tragedies in Aceh, Yogja, Padang etc. should serve as asset to anticipate other disasters in the future.

H. Nizam said...

Edwin,

My title was meant to remind us all that Indonesia is very vulnerable to earthquakes of any size. Pray to God that the worst one has passed but we can never be sure about that.

Re: Aceh, yes they have managed to gone though the tragedy quite well.

H. Nizam said...

Duckham,

Because earthquakes are difficult to predict therefore everyone in Indonesia, authorities and citizens should be aware of what might happen anywhere in the country. Even Jakarta is not free from the danger this can be seen from the fact that it is located not far from area which have been struck by earthquake like Cianjur. Tasikmalaya, Pelabuhan Ratu. Besides, the Anak Krakatau island in the Sunda strait is still quite active.

Due to those facts, everyone should be aware and prepare themselves to face the unpredictable natural disasters.