Tag Archives: 2018

Earthquake hits Lombok – some reflections from the StIRRRD Team

On Sunday 5 August 2018 at 7.46 pm (local time) a powerful, magnitude 6.9, earthquake hit the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killing at least 250 people and caused damage in neighbouring Bali.

This was the second deadly quake in a week to hit Lombok. A July 29 quake killed 17 people and damaged hundreds of houses, some of which collapsed in last Sunday evening’s quake, killing those inside. Poor construction techniques used for houses is a big issue for Indonesia and requires significant education and capacity building amongst the community.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference that damage was “massive” in northern Lombok, and in several districts, more than half the homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

Although none of the New Zealand based team members are in Indonesia currently, Michele Daly (Project Director of StIRRRD) said that Mataram City on Lombok Island is in the thick of the earthquake’s impact zone. Mataram City is one of the StIRRRD case study cities and is in the West Nusa Tenggara province.

Mataram City in relation to Bali and epicentre

Image: Lombok and Mataram City in relation to the quake’s epicentre. Tremors were felt across the neighbouring island of Bali (Source: BBC)

On hearing about the quake, the team’s immediate concerns turned to the people in Indonesia, and especially those who the StIRRRD team work closely with within the local Emergency Agency and other government Agencies and the University of Mataram. Due to the quake’s size, many of them and their families have been badly impacted.

Staff from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta visited Mataram City to undertake building damage and community vulnerability assessments, and sent through photos that show the extent of damage around the University of Mataram’s campus, see below:

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Structural damage Golden Palace Hotel, Mataram
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Structural damage engineering Faculty University of Mataram
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Non -structural (ceiling) damage University of Mataram

Mataram City is at risk from a range of natural hazards including floods and extreme weather, drought, landslides volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and due to high population density and poor construction methods, large scale events affect many people.

Phil Glassey, a Disaster Risk Reduction Scientist at GNS Science, reflected on the StIRRRD team’s visit to Gol Village in North Lombok in 2014. The team observed several houses that had been damaged or were being rebuilt after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake the year before, so the impacts from the recent quakes will take a long time for communities to recover from.

While a tsunami was not observed following last Sunday’s quake, this is a potential hazard due to the Mataram’s proximity to the ocean. The Lombok Strait is located on the City’s western margin and the Sunda Trench, to the south of Mataram, experiences large earthquakes capable of generating tsunamis.

Dr John Ristau, a seismologist at GNS Science comments:

The magnitude 6.9 Loloan, Indonesia earthquake was a reverse faulting earthquake at a depth of 31 km.

Reverse thrusting fault

Image Credit: California geological Survey

In this area the Sunda plate to the north subducts beneath the Indonesian Arc, and the mechanism of the earthquake is consistent with reverse-faulting on the Indonesian Arc thrust.

The Pacific Island arc from Samoa to Indonesia is one of the most seismically active regions on Earth, and earthquakes of this size are not unusual. In the region within about 500 km of the epicentre there have been at least 15 earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 and above in the last 10 years.

Earthquakes of this size will produce significant aftershock activity. However, plate interface earthquakes tend to have less vigorous aftershock sequences than shallow crustal earthquakes of comparable size.

Seismometer in Schools Pilot Launched in Central Sulawesi

During the week 5 to 9 March, StIRRRD team members were based in Palu, Central Sulawesi to launch Indonesia’s first Seismometers in Schools (SIS) programme.  Seismometers in Schools is an education initiative already present in Australia, New Zealand and the United States which involves installing seismometers in schools as tools to increase awareness of seismic hazards and risks.  Information from the seismometers can be analysed by mathematics, physics or geography students to assess earthquakes recorded locally or from around the world.

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Raspberry Shake seismometers are commonly used in school education programmes around the world.

As a part of the StIRRRD programme, the pilot SIS programme has been established in Central Sulawesi province with seismometers installed in four schools and a more sophisticated three component device installed at the University of Tadulako, Palu.  The participating schools are SMA Negeri Model Terpadu Madani and MAN 1 in Palu City, SMA N 1 Banawa in Donggala and SMA N 1 Bahadopi in Morowali.  Only public schools were selected to be involved in the pilot study.  All installations were undertaken in the first week of March, except for Morowali which will be installed in the coming weeks.

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SMA N 1 Banawa school in Donggala

On Monday 5 March, StIRRRD team members visited all schools, in Palu and Donggala, to begin installing the equipment and meeting the school principals and teachers.  The team were warmly welcomed to all schools with teachers expressing gratitude and excitement that their schools were chosen to be a part of the project.  In the following days, installation of the equipment would be completed in each school and training workshops for teachers to increase their knowledge of earthquake and tsunami risks were undertaken.

Importantly, the project has been supported by a range of Indonesian agencies willing to assist the schools with technical support and further training.  Their commitment was recognised in a MoU signing ceremony on 5 March.  The agencies signing the MoU include:

  • Palu’s local university – Universitas of Tadulako (UNTAD)
  • The provincial office of the national seismic monitoring agency – Kantor Stasiun Geofisika Palu (BMKG)
  • The local emergency management offices – BPBD Kota Palu & BPBD Kabupaten Donggala
  • The provincial office of the national education office – Dinas Pendidikan Provinsi Sulawesi Tengah­­­­­
  • The provincial office of the national Ministry of Religion – Kakanwil Kemenag Provinai Sulawesi Tengah

 

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Principals from SIS schools in Palu and Donggala sign the MoU with other agencies
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Local Palu newspaper report detailing the SIS pilot activity

All agencies were very enthusiastic about the SIS programme and agreed to help with technical assistance, further capacity building for teachers, help with assessing earthquake traces and providing ideas on how students might develop future projects.  This enthusiasm was further reflected by the extensive media coverage the project received during the week in Palu, some which can be found here:

http://www.kailipost.com/2018/03/ancaman-palu-koro-dalam-konteks-sekolah.html

https://paluekspres.fajar.co.id/deteksi-getaran-palu-koro-terpantau-7-seismometer/

https://paluekspres.fajar.co.id/program-seismometer-di-sekolah-ajarkan-tentang-gemp

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Opening ceremony and morning session at SMA Negeri model Terpadu Madani school, Palu

On Tuesday 6 March, the StIRRRD team visited SMA Negeri Model Terpadu Madani where an initial ceremony was followed by an overview of local seismic hazards and risks and capacity building for teachers and a group of selected students.  This session was largely delivered by Universistas Gadjah Mada (UGM), StIRRRD team members and a representative from LIPI – Indonesia’s Institute of Science.  Teachers and students were highly engaged during the session, while enjoying New Zealand chocolate for answering questions correctly, which was followed by a visit to the recently installed seismometer.  In the afternoon, members of the StIRRRD team led targeted training session for the teachers with input from the agencies noted above.  A demonstration of how the seismometer works by a technician from GNS Science was well received and ideas for future student projects was discussed with teachers.

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The Head of Central Sulawesi BMKG and GNS Science technician, Richard Johnson, demonstrate a seismometer and equipment to the school principals and partner agencies

The same programme was delivered to MAN 1 in Palu City and SMA N 1 Banawa in Donggala on 7 and 8 March respectively.  A highlight was returning to Donggala on Thursday and discovering that their seismometer had already detected its first earthquake the night before!  The last seismometer to be installed in SMA N 1 Bahadopi school in Morowali will happen in coming weeks by UGM staff and technicians assisted by BMKG.

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SMA N1 Banawa school in Donggala recorded their first earthquake on the recently installed seismometer

All of the seismometers are now part of the global raspberry shake seismic network with real time data from each of the devices available here: http://raspberyshake.net/stationview

On Friday 9 March, the team completed the installation of a more sophisticated three-component seismometer at the Universitas of Tadulako (UNTAD).  This device will support future research projects on the seismicity of the area and provide further data for the local Palu-Koro Fault seismic network managed by BMKG.

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The Dean of Engineering from UNTAD with StIRRRD team members Michele and Pak Agung

That morning, StIRRRD team members met with the Dean of the Engineering and faculty staff to sign an MoU between UGM and UNTAD in support of the Seismometers in Schools programme in Central Sulawesi.  There was much discussion on the disaster management international conference that UNTAD will host in November.  The conference will coincide with the final evaluation of the SIS pilot project and StIRRRD team will have a very active presence at this event, including having a key note speaker.

Overall, there was a lot of excitement about the new seismometers and opportunities to increase the capacity of teachers and knowledge of the high seismic risk present in Palu and Donggala.  This interest was reflected with high engagement across social media (Twitter) with the national emergency management ministry (BNPB), the New Zealand embassy in Jakarta and the Universitas of Tadulako regularly liking and retweeting @StIRRRD tweets throughout the pilot deployment.  Globally, organisations such as the Raspberry Shake Seismometer network (based in Panama), Australian SIS project, the IRIS earthquake programme (based in Washington) and the British Geological Survey seismology project were also very engaged by commenting, liking and retweeting our posts all week!

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Twitter activity from @StIRRRD during the installation week

Initiating Tsunami Awareness Community Engagement, Rawa Indah, Seluma

The StIRRRD team was in Rawa Indah, Seluma, Bengkulu Province to initiate a tsunami awareness community project. Rawa Indah is a village of about 2500 people located on the broad coastal plain of Seluma and is at risk from tsunami, with no nearby high ground suitable for evacuation. In 2014, BNPB (the National Emergency Management Agency), with the assistance of international development aid and the National Public Works, built a 16-m high tsunami shelter near the village. Responsibility for the shelter has only recently been passed to the local emergency management agency, Seluma BPBD. Little or no work to improve community awareness of tsunami hazard, possible natural warnings or the function of the shelter has been undertaken, and the Seluma BPBD do not have the capacity to maintain the shelter or carry out extensive consultation. As a result, the condition of the shelter has deteriorated.

Rawa Indah Tsunami Sheleter

This initial visit (27 Feb – 1 Mar 2018) of the StIRRRD team was to get to know the people, gain an understanding of their current level of tsunami awareness, and help them to understand the risk associated with this significant hazard.

Rawa Indah Program Sosialisasi Tsunami

Ultimately, the community will develop their own evacuation plan and develop ongoing tsunami awareness centred around better use of the tsunami shelter for village activities. Students from the UNIB (University of Bengkulu) undertook a survey with more than 100 residents, to gauge tsunami awareness and preparedness. With the help of the local Red Cross (PMI), BPBD and UNIB, the team spent a day in the local school discussing hazards, tsunami, preparedness and action with 300 school children as well with the teachers. UNIB also built, and bought with them, a tsunami wave model tank which demonstrates tsunami formation and potential impacts.

Rawa Indah School Visit 1Rawa Indah School Visit 2

Rawa Indah Tsunami Tank Demo

University Gadjah Mada (UGM) flew an aerial survey and took video of the village surrounds.

Rawa Indah Coastal Plain

A good relationship has been established with the head of the village Pak Rubimanto, and he and his family, and the villagers generously hosted members of the team for 3 nights. Village leaders are extremely keen to be involved and want to utilise the shelter as best they can, and instigate other awareness and preparedness initiatives that the StIRRRD team will help facilitate.

Rawa Indah Village Head

It is intended that nearby villages with a similar risk from tsunami will also benefit from this project, as it will provide a template for the development of other evacuation plans. By working closely with BPBD and PMI, it is anticipated that the capacity of these agencies to assist other villages will improve.

Phase 2 of the engagement in April 2018 will involve some workshops and meetings with key village groups and responsible agencies and continued engagement with the school. It is also planned to hold an information drop-in session in the tsunami shelter on a Saturday, where the draft tsunami plan can be discussed, followed by a movie night. The third phase, later in the year will include a whole of village evacuation simulation and a repeat questionnaire survey.

National DRR Month Event: Sorong, West Papua

StIRRRD team members and representatives from across StIRRRD districts attended the national DRR month event held in Sorong, West Papua on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 October.  The Monday morning consisted of an opening ceremony and speeches by dignitaries including an update on the BNPB forward work programme from Willem Rampangilei, Head of BNPB.

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Traditional dance at Opening Ceremony

During the afternoon, StIRRRD hosted a special session on DRR and international cooperation.  Chaired by StIRRRD UGM team members, two sessions were held with a focus on cooperation at the national level and international assistance with DRR implementation in the districts.  Presenters at the respective sessions included:

  • Session 1
    • Sumedi Andono Mulyo, Director of Disadvantaged Areas, Transmigration and Rural Areas, BAPPENAS
    • Richard Woods, Natural Hazards Risk Management Specialist, GNS Science
    • Lilik Kurniawan, Director Disaster Risk Reduction, BNPB
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StIRRRD special session speakers.  Left to right: Lilik Kurniawan (BNPB), Richard Woods (GNS Science), Sumedi Andono Mulyo (BAPPENAS) and session host Tueku Faisal Fathani (StIRRRD).

Presentations from Pak Lilik (BNPB) and Pak Sumedi (BAPPENAS) discussed their respective DRR work programmes.  Of note, Pak Sumedi discussed the strong alignment between the StIRRRD programme and BAPPENAS work programme over the next few years.  In addition, he highlighted the potential for future collaboration on modelling the economic impact of disasters for cost-benefit analyses using existing New Zealand economic models.

  • Session 2
    • Akris Mohamad Yunus Fattah, Head of BPBD, Donggala
    • Selupati SH, Head of BPBD, Bengkulu
    • Drs Zainal Abidin, Head of BPBD, Sumbawa
    • Henry, BPBD Head of Prevention and Preparedness, Padang
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StIRRRD special session speakers.  Left to right: Henry (BPBD Padang), Drs Zainal Abidin (BPBD Sumbawa), Selupati SH (BPBD Bengkulu), Akris Mohamad Yunus Fattah (BPBD Donggala) and session host Wahyu Wilopo (StIRRRD).

The presentations from BPBD in Donggala, Bengkulu, Sumbawa and Padang provided insights into the strengths and challenges that each district has faced during action plan implementation.On the morning of 24 October, StIRRRD director Teuku Faisal Fathani presented on lessons and good practice from the implementation of early warning systems to detect land movement.  Pak Faisal presented alongside the Chairman of Mat Peci, Usman Firdaus and Medi Herlianto, BNPB Director of Readiness.

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Tueku Faisal Fathani (UGM – StIRRRD) presents on best practice early warning systems for land movement detection.