Bali only has 9 tsunami warning sirens for 153 high-risk villages: official

A tsunami warning siren belonging to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). Photo: Istimewa
A tsunami warning siren belonging to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). Photo: Istimewa

Bali province only has nine active tsunami warning sirens, an official said, despite 153 villages being identified as high-risk areas for the disaster, thus revealing the notable lack in the region’s disaster preparedness. 

“Hopefully in the future we can have sirens that cover all the regions that are in the high-risk danger zones,” Gede Teja, secretary of Bali’s regional disaster management agency (BPBD) said. 

These villages are located all along Bali’s coasts, with the nine tsunami sirens being prioritized for densely populated areas and tourism spots, including ITDC in Nusa Dua, Seminyak, and Tanah Lot. 

“Ideally, all the villages that fall under tsunami danger zones should have this early warning system. That’s our homework going forward,” Teja said. 

He explained that there are two components to an early tsunami warning system, consisting of the structural component such as sensors and surveillance cameras to analyze sea waves, as well as the dissemination component tasked with informing the public and issuing instructions to evacuate.  

With its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, and is constantly at risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. Bali, for its part, has had its fair share of earthquakes over the years, which in 2019 led to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to install new devices to detect earthquakes and tsunami across the province. 

At the time, officials aimed to match the island’s system with that of Jakarta so as to turn Bali into a back-up in case the capital becomes ineffectual in the case of a disaster.

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