04.10.2019 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO Commemorated 1 Year Palu Tsunami through an International Symposium in Jakarta

International Symposium on ”Lessons Learnt from the 2018 Tsunamis in Palu and Sunda Strait” on 26-28 September in Indonesia

Indonesia was hit by two destructive tsunamis in late 2018t the first event was the Palu and Donggala tsunami of 28 September 2018, following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Central Sulawesi that killed about 4,340 people. The second was the Sunda Strait tsunami of 22 December 2018, following an eruption and partial collapse of the Anak Krakatau volcano that killed about 426 people. In commemoration of one year of the Palu and Donggala tsunami, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in collaboration with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs (CMMA), the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (MORTHE), the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG), the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held a three days International Symposium on ”Lessons Learnt from the 2018 Tsunamis in Palu and Sunda Strait” on 26-28 September in Indonesia.

The Symposium was held at BMKG Auditorium and supported by the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC), the ICG/IOTWMS secretariat and the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC), United Nation Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), United Nation Development Program (UNDP), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Deutsche GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Indonesian Tsunami Experts Association (IATsI).

More than 270 participants from 24 countries attended the three days’ workshop. 32 papers were presented covering the issue of scientific findings and re-construction of the Palu and Sunda Strait tsunami; critical issues in tsunami early warning system, learning from these tsunamis; and discussion on how to improve and strengthened the tsunami early warning system. In addition, 25 Poster were presented, 25 photos exhibited along with booth exhibitions by BMKG, BNPB, IORA, MORTHE, UNDP, UNESCO, U-INSPIRE and Predikt.

The symposium enabled critical and scientific dialogue on tsunami science, based on lessons learnt from Palu-Donggala and Sunda Strait events and dialogue on future direction of the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System, especially for effective warning chain for events with short warning times. More than 25 recommendation points came out from this symposium, among others:

  • The rapid re-grow of the Anak Krakatau volcano should be continue to be consider as the future hazard. Enhancement of TEWS and mitigation efforts should consider and anticipate the volcano-genic tsunami. Landslide coeval with the seismic wave radiation and the volcanic eruption can generate a tsunami. Therefore, monitoring the seismic activity at low frequency bands is necessary to detect the collapse of the volcano island before tsunamis hit populated area. More research need to be done on Volcanic generating tsunamis for better preparedness
  • Palu, inversed tsunami exploration of deepwater bathymetry and fault line configuration in Palu are essential due the Physical interpretation sources is not definite. Existing bathymetric information and bathymetry surveys (post-event) is very important to understand what had happened.
  • Encourage communities to become tsunami ready (undertake regular exercises, display public disaster information and tsunami evacuation signage, establish community evacuation plans and procedures etc.). Self-evacuation is critical in communities with tsunami sources close to the shoreline (near-field). It requires understanding of, and responding to natural signs. Early Warning is complementary important as integrated part to the self evacuation protocol. Increased focus over next 10 years on downstream/last mile component of the end-to-end warning system.

These recommendation will be documented as the Symposium summary and recommendation produced by UNESCO-IOC to be presented to the government of Indonesia.

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