Tsunami-Warning Sirens Installed

bali-tower.jpgBy Rian Dewanto
The Bali Times

DENPASAR ~ Six tsunami-warning towers have been installed at key locations in Bali, with sirens ready to blare out in the event of large waves forming in the ocean, an official said.

The towers (as pictured, on Kuta Beach) have been installed in Seminyak, Kuta, Kedonganan, Sanur, Tanjung Benoa and Nusa Dua, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency spokesman Suhardjono told The Bali Times on Wednesday.

Similar towers would also be installed in other at-risk coastal areas of Indonesia, he said.

“With these sirens, we are aiming to establish a better system, so that everyone knows when a tsunami is approaching and can take the necessary action,” he said.

“Twenty government agencies are working 24/7 to support this system, as well as universities and other bodies,” he said.

Another official at the meteorology agency, Sutrisno, said separately that the sirens had been placed “in areas in which access to information is limited.”

Operation of the sirens was still being worked out, however.

“The sirens are currently ready to use. At the moment, though, we are still in discussions with government officials in Bali to determine the appropriate procedures for their operation. Until then, the sirens will be fully controlled by us (the agency) and linked to our central office in Jakarta, as well as Padang and Medan, where sirens have also been placed.”

Sutrisno said Bali is situated between two earthquake zones, in the Indian Ocean south of Bali and in the Bali Sea to the north.

“Between these zones, the tectonic plate in the south of Bali indicates more frequent quakes than that in the north, which is why we have prioritized placing the siren towers in areas in southern Bali,” he said.

In the event of an earthquake-triggered tsunami occurring off the shores of Bali, the warning sirens would be activated four minutes later, said Sutrisno.

“When a quake occurs, our censors detect it and provide detailed information about it, which takes four minutes, by which time we know enough whether to turn on the sirens or not,” he said.

The devices were made by the Federal Signal Corporation, an American firm, added Sutrisno, declining to reveal the cost.

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