Indonesia to Helm Tsunami Service

28 , 2011 | Source: The Jakarta Globe

Indonesia has been appointed to a team of three countries responsible for the safety of 25 other tsunami-prone Indian Ocean nations, the UN Agency for Development (UNDP0 said.

Since the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Indonesia and its neighbors have depended on warnings from an interim advisory service provided by agencies in Hawaii and Japan, UNDP said in a statement.

Starting in 2012, the service will be superseded by the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System operated by Indonesia, India and Australia.

The new system was announced at a workshop in Jakarta on Monday supported by the UN Agency for Development (UNDP) and IOC/UNESCO.

Suhardjono, the head of the earthquake and tsunami division at Indonesia’s Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), said the new system for tsunami warning and emergency response would be put to the test next month.

“The standard operating procedures will be tested on October 12 in a simulation called the Indian Ocean Wave Exercise 2011, so the UNDP’s support won’t end today at the workshop,” he said.

The BMKG’s role will be to provide early warnings for Indonesia and act as a “service provider” throughout the region.

A 2011 UN report ranked Indonesia the world’s most tsunami-prone nation. Aceh bore the brunt of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, accounting for 160,000 of the 230,000 fatalities . At that time, the BMKG had no tsunami warning system.



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