An Unprepared Indonesia Learns a Bitter…

The large number of victims and material losses in recent tsunami disasters in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi and Sunda Strait areas have triggered criticism that the country doesn’t have an adequate, qualified disaster mitigation system. On Sept. 28, a series of disasters struck Central Sulawesi, beginning with a 7.4 magnitude earthquake that generated tsunamis as high as 2 to 6 meters and swept the coastal cities of Palu and Donggala. The earthquake also triggered liquefaction of land in a housing complex in Petobo, Palu City, which sank hundreds of homes and public facilities and killed hundreds of people. At least 2,100 people died as a result of the multiple disasters and thousands more are estimated to still be buried amid financial losses of more than Rp18 trillion (US$1.26 billion).

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