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TSUNAMI struck eastern Indonesia on March, the 14th

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posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 12:01 PM
The Seram quake of the 14th generated a tsunami of 7 metres high.

Three people have been killed and another is missing after the tsunami wiped away at least one village on a remote island once infamous as a prison for exiled communists: Buru Island.

The villagers from Pela ran to a mountain about 5km away for refuge. 1.200 people had to be evacuated, 116 houses have been destroyed...

Source: The age news Please, click on the link to read the full news.

Any idea why we are getting the first information about it days later?

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 12:14 PM
I posted this a couple of hours earlier in here in the Quake Watch 2006 thread. But nevermind, to answer your question, I think the reason is stated in that article you linked:

The area affected was remote and it had taken authorities some days to reach it...

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 12:17 PM
It makes me wonder if there are other small islands that might have been affected too and we just don't know yet because they are so "out of the way".

good find to both of you

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 12:20 PM
Sorry, Beachcoma I didn´t know you had posted it already.

Even though the area seems to be difficult to access, what about the new National Disaster Warning Centre & Tsunami Early Warning System in operation in Thailand? And the Tsunami warning issued by the USGS?

Does it mean they still haven´t the equipment needed for an early warning? (in Indonesia)
Well, they have not been able to confirm it until they got to the Island and managed to obtain the information from those who survived...

[edit on 18-3-2006 by Ptolomeo]

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 12:23 PM
There's nothing wrong with this event having it's own separate thread along with the post in the Quake Thread, so no worries you two.

I think the tsunami might have been kind of lopsided??? you know only one part of it had the higher waves??? I don't know..I should to stop making a fool of myself now

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 12:37 PM

Originally posted by Ptolomeo
Sorry, Beachcoma I didn´t know you had posted it already.

Don't worry about it

I posted it in the Quake thread because I wanted to be sure it was related to the Seram quake. Not so sure where exactly Pulau Buru is. I only have the coordinates for Pulau Seram.

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 12:40 PM
Thank you, Worldwatcher

If an ATS member speaks Indonesian, here is the link for the full information published by a local newspaper on the 17th of March.

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 02:00 PM

Originally posted by Ptolomeo
If an ATS member speaks Indonesian, here is the link for the full information published by a local newspaper on the 17th of March.

I speak Malay, which is close enough.

Translated from Indonesian by Beachcoma

Tsunami Devastates Buru Island

116 houses were swept away, 157 severely damaged, three people died.

AMBON -- An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the richter scale shook the province of Maluku, Tuesday (3/14) at 16.05 WIT [Jakarta Time], clearly resulted in a tsunami 5 meters high at Buru Island. The problem is, the damage on Buru Island was just confirmed on Thursday (3/16).

Due to the effects of the wave, as many as 116 homes of the citizen of Pela Village, Batabual District, Buru were swept away. The village is now decimated, and deserted, because its citizens decided to seek refuge on the hills. At this moment, a total of 1,200 citizens are refugees in that district.

The quake damaged hundreds of homes of citizens in five villages in that district, and one village in Ambalau Island District. In Batu Jungku Village, as many as 54 homes of citizens were damaged. Aside from that, one SMP building and one mosque was also damaged. Three citizens of this village died, that is Amir Rahawarin (40), Wa Ona (6) and a baby. Another person, Ridwan Letsoin suffered injuries due to falling rubble.

Meanwhile in Waimorat 30 homes were damaged, Waelawa 61 homes, Waimoli six homes and one school, and in Ilath, the capital of Batabual District, six homes were damaged. Furthermore on Ambalau Island, which is part of Kabupaten Buru Province, as many as 19 homes were damaged because of the quake.

[To sum it up, the rest of the article up to the summary explains how various politicians and representatives are making an appearance and handing out food and medicine.

The article also mentions that part of the reason why this was reported so late was because the rest of the island was busy making preparations for the arrival of the Indonesian President who was expected to arrive for a speech or rally on Friday (3/17).

For this reason, the district representative and a contingent of reporters only arrived at the area on Thursday. It was then that he realized the extent of the devastation.

The article also mentions that the death toll is very low because the minute the citizens felt the quake, they ran for high ground. The refugees are still in various emergency government shelters and do not dare return for fear of a subsequent tsunami even though food supplies are running short]

* A quake measuring 6.4 on the richter scale occured on Tuesday (3/14) at 16.05 WIT. Swept away 116 rumah, damaged 157 and killed three people.
* As soon as the quake happend, citizens immediately sought out high-ground to avoid being hit by the sea wave.
* Bupati Buru Representative, Bakrie Lumbessy just inspected the quake location, Thursday (3/16) and brought help.
* Citizens are still seeking refuge in hill districts for fear of subsequent tsunamis.

That's about as accurate a translation as I can make. The italicized bit in the [square brackets] are not direct translations but my paraphrasing of the rest of the article. It would have been another 8 paragraphs otherwise.

The bolded bit was for emphasis, because I think that's the main question that is on everyone's mind -- "why was it reported so late?"

[edit on 18-3-2006 by Beachcoma]

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 06:54 PM
This article (Sofia News Agency) say the "small" tsunami was caused by two relatively small quakes. A Mag 4.5 and a 3.5... I thought quakes would have to be bigger to cause a tsunami, but they could be mistaken about which quake caused the tsunami. I remember the recent 6.8, but I haven´t checked it on the map (or the time of the events).

posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 11:44 PM
I think it all depends on the position of the quake and how the ocean floor is like in the area affected. If you remember, the big Dec 26 Asian Tsunami affected regions as far as Somalia. But it only passed over the Maldives because the island chain didn't have an ocean shelf to push the waves up higher. In fact, that tsunami actually added to the height of the Maldives.

Tsunami added height to the Maldives

posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 06:20 AM
Thank you for your translation, Beachcoma.

Victims were so low because citizens decided to run towards the mountains the moment the quake was felt.

No warning at all, but at least a good ending.

I am with you, Helmutt. I thought that tsunamis had to be generated by strong quakes but according to the events, it seems it has to do with the ocean floor where the quake takes place or the kind of soil where it is spreading through... Interesting, but dangerous.

From this information, it seems that we´ll never be sure if a quake can trigger a tsunami. ? Or can we?

posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 06:43 AM
Here's a simple animation of a volcano-generated tsunami. Note how the presence of a sudden steep decrease in seabed depth due to the ocean shelf pushes the water column upwards.

Source: Office of Naval Research

It's not an exact science though, so you can't really predict one. The best you can do is follow what the Buru Island villagers did, head for high ground the minute you feel a tremor. And if you don't feel one, but you notice your pets acting strange or wildlife getting crazy and agitated, run for the hills.

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