YOGYAKARTA – Prof. Dr. Hery Harjono, earthquake and tsunami researcher from LIPI, asked the community in the south of Java island and west of Sumatra Island to remain vigilant against the threat of tsunami at any time. Although BMKG already has tsunami detection device that can give warnings 5 minutes after the earthquake, however, people on the coasts need to find the location of evacuation at a higher plateau after powerful earthquakes.
"The potential of tsunami is very high. Previously, we had a tsunami in Aceh and Mentawai of which the rehabilitation phase is not yet finished,” said Hery after giving a presentation at the Workshop on Field Research Results Dissemination, Collaboration of Indonesian and Japanese Scientists, in the Faculty of Geography from March 15 to 16.
Based on LIPI research, it is known that there were many tsunamis in southern Java. However, the data is not yet well documented. Some of the areas affected by the tsunami, among others, are Cilacap, Pangandaran and Banyuwangi. "On the island of Java, tsunami occurence is quite numerous but they were not recorded. In the Sumatran case, the data can be very well obtained," he said.
The threat of earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, according to Hery, can occur at any time since Indonesia is located in the Rings of Fire and meeting of the world’s tectonic plates. Therefore, the community must be prepared to face these threats and do not forget the earthquakes that happened in the past.
"Even Japan still continues to learn. The location of earthquake in Japan can be predicted, however, this is not enough since they have not been able to determine the intensity of earthquake," he said.
He added that the technology in Japan has been able to detect tsunamis even 2 minutes after the earthquake. However, the readiness of the community is very important to reduce the risks. “They already know the location of the earthquake, but its magnitude is another issue. It’s a lesson for us to learn," he said.
Prof. Masatomo Umitsu from Nara University Japan, a resource person in the workshop, said the Fukushima society was currently performing disaster recovery after the earthquake and tsunami. "They were much assisted by their family who come from out of town," he said
In relation to condition of society after the leaking of nuclear reactors, he admitted that he did not much know the extent of the information is because he had been in Indonesia before the earthquake. He had only received information from television.
He said that people in Fukushima and Japan generally have been prepared in anticipation of the tsunami but the level of damage was unprecedented because of the huge tsunami waves.