Indonesia: Tsunami warning system to cost $142 million
The installation of a nationwide tsunami early warning system is scheduled for completion in mid-2008 and will cost about Rp1.3 trillion ($142 million), says a minister.
"Part of the funds will originate from the state budget and the rest from foreign aid," Transportation Minister Hatta Radjasa was quoted as saying Thursday (20/6/07) by state news agency Antara.
He said a number of countries, including Germany and Japan, have pledged aid totaling $45 million to help finance the project.
The funds would be used to build 160 seismographic sensors and 500 accelerographs - strong motion seismographs for recording acceleration in the velocity of earthquakes and vibrations.
"Once installed, the instruments will enable us to see in five minutes whether or not an earthquake will trigger a tsunami," said Radjasa.
President Orders Standard Response Procedures
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday ordered Banten province's administration to prepare a set standard procedures to be followed by residents in the event of a possible earthquake-triggered tsunami.
"I have ordered all provincial governments to prepare standard procedures that residents have to follow when a tectonic earthquake takes place," he was quoted as saying by Antara.
He said Banten's regional government, from the governor to district heads, subdistrict heads and community leaders, must be responsive and active in providing information to residents on the impact of a tectonic quake and tsunami.
"If these steps have not yet been prepared in Banten, the regional government has to prepare it immediately," he said.
The president was speaking during a meeting with fishermen and residents of Banten's Anyer subdistrict, which is located on the coast of western Java.
World leaders have continued sending messages of condolences to Indonesia following the July 17 tsunami that killed about 550 people in southern Java.
Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy and was thinking of "all those affected of his closeness in prayer".
The pope said he would also pray for rescue workers "and all involved in providing assistance to displaced families, encouraging them to persevere in their efforts to bring relief and support".
A message of sympathy was also received from United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who offered humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.
"The Secretary General is saddened by the loss of life and damages provoked by the tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Java on 17 July, and the trauma being experienced by the survivors due to the series of aftershocks, shaking parts of the island," Annan's spokesman said in a statement.
"He extends his condolences to the victims and their families, and his deepest sympathy to the survivors. The Secretary General would like to assure the government and people of Indonesia that the United Nations stands ready to extend its assistance, both for immediate humanitarian response and during the reconstruction period," said the statement.
Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam also offered condolences. "On behalf of the government and people of India and myself, I express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to people of Indonesia who have lost their near and dear ones in the tragedy that struck the southern coast of Java," he said in a message to Yudhoyono.
"We pray for the early recovery of the injured," he said.