INDONESIANS USED TO EARTHQUAKES WITHOUT EARLY WARNING

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Oct 9 (NNN-Bernama) -- On Sept 28, the world was shaken once again as a 7.5-magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, which was followed by a massive tsunami that claimed thousands of lives.

Sadly, the earthquake was reported to have swallowed up the whole of Kampung Petobo and Kampung Balaroa, causing both villages with a population of about 5,000, to 'disappear' from the world map.

However, Indonesians are so used to the earth shaking under their feet, besides the lack of early warning during a disaster in most places of the country.

An Indonesian student at the University of Malaya, Eris Surwandi, 25, said that the frequent occurrences of earthquakes have caused people to become 'immune' to the warnings issued by the disaster warning system.

"I think that when the earthquake took place in Palu, people who were used to such circumstances (earthquakes) would not have thought that there would be a huge tsunami looming over them.

"There is no doubt that the Indonesian government has installed state-of-the-art equipment including earthquake sirens in the sea areas. Unfortunately, some of them are damaged and are not well maintained (and this) caused the residents not to be aware of the tsunami that came after the quake," he said when contacted Bernama here yesterday.

Meanwhile, according to another Indonesian student at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, Rizkiy Anuar, 23, among other measures that could be taken was to increase emergency training or evacuation drills.

"We (Indonesians) in Padang are maybe better off because the people there take earthquake warnings seriously, and evacuation drills are often conducted, with all parties involved including schools," he said.

According to the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), 1,571 victims had been found dead due to the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi as of Oct 6, and rescue operations are still ongoing.

Source: NAM News Network

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