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Distant Rumble in Sumatra Keeps Bali Vigilant

In the Wake of Latest Sumatran Earthquakes, Bali Maintains Strict Program of Tsunami Alarm Testing


Bali neither felt nor experienced any of the shaking produced by a massive 8.6 earthquake that struck off the coast of West Sumatra on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.

The strike-slip earthquake, although felt over a wide region in Indonesia’s west and in adjoining countries, did not produce a devastating tsunami more normally associated with a mega-thrust earthquake.

Cognizant of the enduring threat to all who live of the Pacific Ring-of-Fire, the Bali Office of the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) routinely tests the warning sirens located in six locations around the southern island (see map).

six locations around the southern
Click Images to Enlarge

Metro TV quotes I Wayan Suardana of the BMKG office in Bali who confirms that all sirens are in good operating order and are routinely tested.

The sirens are located in Sanur, Tanjung Benoa, Seminyak, Kuta, Kedonganan and Nusa Dua.

“This equipment will sound a signal if there is an earthquake in the oceans above level 7 in on the Richter scale,” he explained.

Protocols are in place to ensure the sirens are sounded if a tsunami-potential earthquake occurs off a facing shore to Bali. His office immediately informs all the relevant agencies of the government should such an earthquake occurs.

Responsibility for evacuating local residents rests with the Center for Disaster Mitigation (Pusdalops). The warning to Pusdalops will occur within five minutes of an earthquake. Suardana estimates that in all it will take between 15 and 20 minutes for officials to evacuate people living on beachfronts threatened by a tsunami.

The tsunami sirens across Bali are always sounded exactly at 10:00 am on the 26th day of each month, marking the exact hour and day-of-the-month of the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami that occurred on December 26, 2004.

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