• Indonesia tsunami sensors missed huge waves: official

    From Weatherlawyer@21:1/5 to Travis McGee on Fri Nov 23 23:46:52 2018
    On Saturday, 29 September 2018 20:51:52 UTC+1, Travis McGee wrote:
    Indonesia tsunami sensors missed huge waves: official
    By Kanupriya Kapoor and Agustinus Beo Da Costa
    ,Reuters•September 29, 2018

    By Kanupriya Kapoor and Agustinus Beo Da Costa

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's geophysics agency lifted a tsunami
    warning 34 minutes after it was first issued following a major
    earthquake that sent huge waves crashing into the northeastern coast of Sulawesi island, killing hundreds and leaving thousands more homeless.

    The 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami, which hit the city of Palu about
    1,500 km (940 miles) from Jakarta and further along the coastline,
    killed at least 384 people. Officials said on Saturday the death toll
    was likely to rise.

    Hundreds of people had gathered for a festival on the beach in Palu on Friday when waves as high as six metres (18 feet) smashed onshore at
    dusk, sweeping many to their death.

    The geophysics agency (BMKG) faced criticism on Saturday on social
    media, with many questioning if the tsunami warning was lifted too soon.

    The agency said it followed standard operating procedure and made the
    call to "end" the warning based on data available from the closest tidal sensor, around 200 km (125 miles) from Palu.

    "We have no observation data at Palu. So we had to use the data we had
    and make a call based on that," said Rahmat Triyono, head of the
    earthquakes and tsunami centre at BMKG.

    He said the closest tide gauge, which measures changes in sea level,
    only recorded an "insignificant", six-centimetre (2.5 inches) wave and
    did not account for the giant waves near Palu.

    "If we had a tide gauge or proper data in Palu, of course it would have
    been better. This is something we must evaluate for the future," said Triyono.

    It was not clear whether the tsunami, which officials say hammered Palu
    and the surrounding area at extremely high speeds measuring in the
    hundreds of kilometres per hour, occurred before or after the warning
    had been lifted.

    "Based on the videos circulating on social media, we estimate the
    tsunami happened before the warning officially ended," Triyono said.

    Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is regularly hit by earthquakes. The most devastating came on Boxing Day in 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a massive tsunami that killed around
    226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including over 126,000 in Indonesia.

    The scenic town of Palu sits at the mouth of a narrow bay in
    northeastern Sulawesi and is home to around 380,000 people. It was hit
    by a tsunami in 1927 and 1968, according to Indonesia's national
    disaster mitigation agency (BNPB).

    Baptiste Gombert, a geophysics researcher at University of Oxford, said
    it was "surprising" the quake had generated a tsunami.

    Friday's quake was recorded as a "strike-slip" event where neighbouring tectonic plates move horizontally against each other, rather than vertically, which is what usually generates a tsunami.

    "There is some speculation that there was a landslide under the sea
    which displaced a lot of water and caused the tsunami," he said, adding
    the narrow bay may have concentrated the force of the waves as they
    moved toward the shore.

    Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the disaster agency, told reporters
    his team had been "preparing to send public warnings that were easy to understand" when the tsunami warning was "suddenly ended".

    The communications ministry said repeated warnings were sent out to residents via text message, but Nugroho said the quake had brought down
    the area's power and communications lines and there were no sirens along
    the coast.

    Indonesians took to social media to question the BMKG's move to lift the tsunami warning and a failure to release information in a timely manner.

    If the government sacked all the dead fish and replaced them with youths, it would at least look like they were doing something. Why do I get the impression that the country is run by corrupt officials that are a mirror to the US Democrats?

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