YOGYAKARTA – Lecturer in Engineering Physics of UGM, Prof Sunarno, has produced an early warning system for landslides that is user friendly. The tool is already in place in areas prone to landslide, including Keceme and Gerbosari, in Kulonprogo regency, and Ngalang village in Gunungkidul regency.
The tool uses megaphone or siren, nylon, fishing lines, measuring tape, plastic isolator, and tin/stone pendulum.
“The idea came up last year due to requests from the local residents who were concerned of landslide risks. This tool has proved able to protect the people from the risks there,” said Sunarno in the Sensor Laboratory of the study programme.
Sunarno and his team spent only around IDR300 thousands to make the tool. The working of the early warning system is simple. The sirene installed in the home of the resident is connected with a nylon. The siren alarm should be in ‘on’ position though. The nylon to trigger the siren to go off is connected to an isolator that is placed between batteries and battery lid.
“If the trigger nylon is pulled up, the siren will go off,” said Sunarno.
How to make the siren go off during landslides? Sunarno has designed that any movement of earth cracking measuring 2 cm in length will be recorded. This will trigger the nylon installed on the trees on the slopes of the hill. The measuring tape vertically installed on the trees and buildings serves to measure the distance of cracks shown by the pendulum that is pulled up by the fishing lines.
“The balance is pulled up because the other end of the line is knitted on a tree or a stake that moves alongside the earth movement,” he explained.
Sunarno hopes this simple tool can be made by people in landslide prone areas by themselves. He offered assistance should anyone request help to do so. Those living in the province of Yogyakarta who need the tool are suggested to go directly to the Yogyakarta Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency.