Manokwari, 20 July 2011

An earthquake warning system has been installed in the sub-district office in Manokwari Timur, West Papua Province on Monday, 18 July 2011.  The installation of the system is endorsed by Malteser International and the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) in cooperation with YAKKUM Emergency Unit (YEU), under the disaster preparedness program in Manokwari District.

The selection of the sub-district office in Manokwari Timur as the site for the system has followed considerable survey carried out by YEU team in collaboration with relevant personnel from sub-district office. The baseline survey focused primarily on the collection of data and facts that the potential disasters in West Papua Province are characterized by high frequency of earthquakes as well as tsunami alerts.

Pasir Putih village, where sub-district office is situated, is categorized as densely populated area with around 3,100 people, whereas, some of its inhabitants live close to the coastal belt. The area had the history of earthquakes, several of which were destructive.

The earthquake warning system is an advance step in technology-based disaster preparedness initiative. The breakthrough comes from the ability of the system to detect and analyze 2 (two) seismic waves; the Primary wave and the Secondary wave. The Primary wave of an earthquake is innocuous, imperceptible to human and spreads from the epicentre faster than the Secondary wave. The Primary wave reaches the system first. The Secondary wave follows after time delay, and is more destructive than the Primary wave.

The farther the location of the system from the epicentre, the longer the time period between the arrival of the Primary wave and the Secondary wave. This interval period is the time available for an advance warning for the human and the environment.

Once the Primary wave is detected, the siren gives an alarm within the radius 800 metre to 1 kilometre, depends on the topography of the site. The siren will tell the community to act immediately and to evacuate to safe place.

The system installed in Manokwari Timur sub-district costs around EUR 40,000. A staggering price considering the system has employed up-to-date technology and has followed high quality standard in Germany. We’re not going to discuss further on the price value, but on the lives of human which can be saved when the system is in full operation. Most of all, the community has to have preparedness plan in any disaster scenario. The system also serves as a learning material for introducing habit formation in living together with potential earthquake.

Alongside the installation of the earthquake warning system, one-day training was arranged for representatives from Village Disaster Management Committee (VDMC) in Pasir Putih, Manokwari Timur sub-district, Disaster Management Agency, Code and Telecomunication division in District office, local NGO and academician from Papua University. The facilitators are 2 (two) German technicians, Juergen Przybylak and Markus Graumueller. The transfer of skill and knowledge aims at ensuring the availability of local resources who are adept with the system, able to maintain the system and able to see the opportunity in developing the earthquake warning system for the future use. (AMT)

Anastasia Maylinda

YAKKUM Emergency Unit (YEU)
Jl. Nusantara 4, no. 02
Kelurahan Wosi, Kecamatan Manokwari Barat
Manokwari, Papua Barat
Tel./Fax. +62 (0) 986 212262

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you” (Lao Tze)



About oaseindisasters

Oase in Disaster - Yakkum Emergency Unit This blog is official blog of Yakkum Emergency Unit Member of ACT Alliance and Member of Humanitarian Forum of Indonesia. The contents of this blog covers the YEU's activities related to emergency responds activities in Indonesia. Currently, we are working in emergency respon in three different areas; to respond Wasior flash-flood affected people in Manokwari, West Papua, tsunami-Mentawai affected people in Mentawai, West Sumatera, and Merapi Volcano Eruption in Central Java and Yogyakarta. At the national level, we are coordinating within the network of Humanitarian Forum of Indonesia (HFI) and at the International level we're coordinating with Global Network for Disaster Reduction and ACT Alliance. Email: Follow us in twitter @yeu2001
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