Alarmboeien remained silent

AMSTERDAM – While in the disaster area of Sulawesi, the number of victims, with the hours increasing, you hear criticism of the warning system for tsunamis in the Indonesian government. That has not worked well when last Friday a severe earthquake, a devastating tidal wave unleashed.

The high tide has a ship on the country registered near Wani in the district of Donggala in Sulawesi.

In the port city of Palu grooves of soldiers yesterday, a mass grave with place for at least a thousand people. Most of the confirmed dead, yesterday was the counter at 844, come from the coastal town. But gradually it is becoming more and more evident that also in the surrounding regions, the disaster is not to see.

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Rescuer Lian Gogali succeeded by motorbike in the district of Donggala to achieve. She speaks of the many hundreds of people without food and medicine sit. Rosters / deployment teams that can assist in evacuation are not there yet. “It’s shocking,” said Gogali.

The shaking of the earth did swallow near Palu, not only seventeen hundred houses, in a church in Sigi, south of the coastal city, was a true drama. Dozens of children who were apart for a bible camp, were buried under mud and debris, and survived the catastrophe.

Third time

“Our volunteers found 34 bodies,” says spokeswoman Aulia Arriani of the Indonesian Red Cross. It could hardly be otherwise in the next few days more of such tragedies be known and that the number of deaths is expected to increase significantly. In the region around the heavily affected Palu live about 1.4 million people.

Although the inhabitants of Sulawesi were attacked by the earthquake and the tsunami is not the first flood that home. Since 1900, the cities of Palu and Donggala three times hit by such natural disasters. There were recommendations from scientists about better warning systems inadequately implemented by the government in Jakarta.

In the coastal city of Palu reached the tsunami sufficient height to cars on top of buildings behind.

“We now know that there are 250 lines of fracture are in the country,” said tsunami-researcher Widjo Kongko at the Deutsche Welle. “In the past we had only eighty identified.” Each of these fractions can quakes and tidal waves in motion.

But Indonesia seems to be blind when it comes to timely registration and warn for earthquakes. On Sulawesi is only a aardschoksensor in Mamuju, on more than a hundred kilometers from Palu. “We have our warning systems for natural disasters improve greatly,” says Kongko.

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Louise Comfort, an expert in rampenmanagement, complains in turn that a network of 22 zeeboeien that tsunamis in Indonesia would be able to predict, as well as outdoor operation. The buoys do not more due to vandalism and lack of maintenance. Also, there was never money allocated to sensors on the sea floor that earlier alarm had been able to save for a disaster as last Friday.

“I think it is a tragedy for science, and especially a tragedy for the Indonesian people, like the inhabitants of Sulawesi are now discovering,” explains Comfort, associated with the University of Pittsburgh, in the Canadian newspaper National Post.

Run and run

Last Friday, struck the Indonesian agency for meteorology BMKG or alarm for a tsunami after the earthquake, but pulled it quickly back in. Then caused a landslide under water after a devastating flood. “The warning was too quickly withdrawn”, says Kongko.

In Palu try survivors among the victims, their loved ones back. The 38-year-old mother Lisa’s looking for her fourteen-year-old daughter and her mother. She touched both of them lost when they from the beach for the tsunami on the flight went. “We ran and ran, but the waves pulled us in,” she says. “I can’t express how I feel.”

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