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Jakarta Post

Govt agencies calm public about tsunami threat along Java’s southern coast

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, July 21, 2019   /   06:53 pm
Govt agencies calm public about tsunami threat along Java’s southern coast Two officers of Expedition Destana from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) install a tsunami warning sign on Tambakrejo Beach in Blitar, East Java, on July 18. (JP/Asip A. Hasani)

The public need not worry about a tsunami threat along Java’s southern coast if they take mitigation measures to minimize the impact of disasters, agencies have said following rising concerns about the phenomenon.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Agus Wibowo urged the public to remain cautious, adding that several mitigation measures could be taken in the case of a potential tsunami-triggering earthquake, such as the 20-20-20 principle.

“If the tremors of an earthquake last 20 seconds, evacuate as soon as possible because a tsunami may come in 20 minutes; take shelter at a building that it is at least 20 meters in height,” Agus said.

Another important mitigation effort is constructing anti-earthquake buildings, he added.

“For example, if the walls are no longer strong, then they need to be reinforced with a brand new material,” Agus said as quoted by

He also suggested downloading the InaRisk application, which is accessible on the BNPB's website, for further information and warnings on potential natural disasters.

The government has also established the Expedition Destana program, in which teams are sent to villages located along Java’s southern coast to teach residents about disaster mitigation.

Separately, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) issued a statement on Saturday to clarify rumors swirling on social media about the potential of an earthquake and tsunami striking the area.

“We should accept the fact that our region is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis,” BMKG’s head of earthquake information and early tsunami warning, Daryono, said in a statement.

Daryono said the southern coast of Java was more prone to these natural disasters due to the subduction zone between the Eurasian and Indo-Australian plates.

“The [subduction zone] is an earthquake generator, so it is understandable if the southern coast of Java is vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis,” said Daryono.

Daryono said there were several mitigation steps people could take, such as marking beach space that is safe from tsunamis and developing the public’s capacity in facing disasters.

“This is the risk of living in convergent boundaries of plates that we must face,” Daryono said.

He further emphasized that mitigation efforts could minimize the impact of natural disasters.

On Wednesday, Assessment and Application of Technology Agency (BPPT) tsunami expert Widjo Kongko said Java’s southern coast, particularly Yogyakarta, could experience an 8.8-magnitude earthquake and a tsunami of up to 20 meters in height.

“[A subduction zone runs] along the southern coast of Java, to the east of Sumba [Island] and south of the Sunda strait; a megathrust earthquake with an 8.5-to 8.8-magnitude [may occur],” Widjo said. (awa)