The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) encourages research and studies on earthquakes and tsunamis to strengthen mitigation to prevent and minimize casualties and damage due to disasters.
"Studies should always be encouraged with the aim not to cause public anxiety and panic, but to support the strengthening of the disaster mitigation system," BMKG Head Dwikorita Karnawati said in a press release received in Jakarta, Tuesday.
He explained that since several years ago researchers had made studies on the potential for tsunamis, including due to the megathrust earthquake on the South Coast of Java, which could reach 20 meters high and the waves could arrive at the coast in 20 minutes.
Research on tsunamis such as that conducted by Widjo Kongko (2018), Ron Harris (2017-2019), and a cross-agency team led by the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and supported by BMKG are needed to strengthen earthquake mitigation and tsunami early warning systems.
Strengthening the earthquake mitigation system and tsunami early warning is very important considering the potential for earthquakes and tsunamis in Indonesia does not only cover certain areas such as the southern coast of Java.
Indonesia is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis with varying wave heights and has the potential to occur in coastal areas facing the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean and beaches adjacent to active faults in the sea (back-arc) or stretching out to sea.
According to the latest ITB research based on seismic data analysis and tsunami modeling, in the worst-case scenario assuming an earthquake occurs simultaneously in two megathrust segments in the southern part of Java, the western part and the eastern part, a tsunami with a maximum wave height of 20 meters can occur in either area south of Banten and reached the coast within 20 minutes of the earthquake.
The mechanism of the tsunami event is based on modeling similar to that of the 2004 Aceh tsunami, the tsunami caused by an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 which reached the coast in less than 20 minutes.
Based on the modeling, land on the coast is at an altitude of over 20 meters is relatively safer from the threat of a tsunami hazard. The modeling results can be used as a reference in preparing evacuation routes and places as well as land arrangements in tsunami-prone areas.
Dwikorita said that since 2008 BMKG has built an early warning system to monitor earthquake events and provide tsunami early warnings.
Within three to five minutes after the earthquake, the Early Warning and Monitoring System operated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and strengthened by supercomputers and artificial intelligence can automatically disseminate tsunami early warning information to communities in earthquake and tsunami-prone areas through various information channel.
With the use of this tsunami early warning system, there are still 15 to 17 minutes left for the evacuation process if a tsunami is estimated to arrive in 20 minutes. (Antaranews)