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Indonesia quake: Agency faces backlash over revoking tsunami warning decision


Jakarta, Sept 29: Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) came under criticism over its decision to revoke the tsunami warning when it actually took place, reported Jakarta Post.

Indonesia quake: Agency faces backlash over revoking tsunami warning decision

BMKG chairperson Dwikorita Karnawati said the warning was revoked after the agency learned that the tsunami got over. She claimed that the agency went forward with its decision at 5.36 pm local time (7.06 pm IST) after the height of the waves gradually declined.

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The report cited Indonesia's National Board for Disaster Management as saying that the BMKG gave a different reason for its decision to change the status.

"The decision was based on visual monitoring and further monitoring using the equipment [tsunami detection buoys] at sea for 30 minutes. The BMKG did not see any significant change in the sea level. That's why they ended the alert," BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

The Jakarta Post also cited tsunami expert Abdul Muhari as criticising the BMKG for ending the warning early after it received witness reports of a wave measuring 1.5 metres in height.

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"If witnesses said they saw a wave with a height of more than 1 meter, authorities should not have ended the warning, because more waves could have hit at any time soon after. Until authorities can confirm that the tsunami is over, the warning should be kept," The Post quoted Abdul on Friday, September 28.

He also said that the authorities might not be in a position to conclude immediately on the lurking danger for they did not have proper equipment to measure the sea level's height both from the land and water, as the only tide gauge available to them was located some 400 kilometres away, the report added.

Three-hundred and eighty-four people were killed in the 7.5 -magnitude earthquake in the South-east Asian island-nation's Central Sulawesi province on Friday.

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