420 People Were Killed! Indonesian Meteorological Bureau Lifts Tsunami Warning Prematurely

- Sep 30, 2018-

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On the afternoon of the 28th local time, a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia's Sulawesi province and caused heavy casualties caused by the tsunami. According to Indonesian Jakarta police, the earthquake in Central Sulawesi has caused 410 deaths and 540 injuries. On the social media in Indonesia, the Indonesian Meteorological Administration’s dismissal of the warning 34 minutes after the tsunami warning was issued caused great controversy.

According to the latest news from CCTV, the director of the Public Information Bureau of Jakarta, Indonesia, said on the 29th that the earthquake in Central Sulawesi has caused 420 deaths, of which 97 were confirmed. Another 29 people were missing and 540 were injured. Palu Airport is still closed.

▲After the tsunami, the scene was a mess. (Photo: AFP)

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According to Reuters, the Indonesian Meteorological, Climate and Geophysical Bureau (BMKG) has lifted the warning 34 minutes after the tsunami warning. This is a lot of criticism on Indonesian social media on Saturday (29th). Many people have asked whether the agency has lifted the tsunami warning too early. The Weather Bureau stated that they followed the standard operating procedures and decided to release the alarm based on the data provided by the nearest tidal sensor. The director of the Meteorological Bureau, Ramat, pointed out that the sea level change recorded by the tidal sensor is “not significant” and the wave height is 6 cm, which is not a huge wave to Palu.

The China Seismological Network reported that a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia's Sulawesi province on the afternoon of the 28th, which triggered a massive tsunami. The Associated Press quoted a spokesman for the Indonesian National Disaster Bureau as saying that the earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi, and another city, East Galla. In a local live TV interview, he said that the tsunami had taken away some houses and there were reports of missing people. It is reported that Palu is 80 kilometers away from the epicenter of the earthquake and has a population of about 350,000.