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    Indonesians Say They're Not Prepared for the Next Tsunami


    by NTDTelevision

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    Residents in Indonesia's Sumatra Province say they are not ready for another earthquake or tsunami. They are still pushing the government to build more shelters and evacuation buildings. Indonesia was hard hit by a tsunami in the Indian Ocean back in 2004 that left over 200-thousand people dead across Asia.

    In 2004, a tsunami up to 30 meters high swept away 160,000 lives in the Sumatran province of Aceh, alone.


    Local residents in Banda Aceh say the people in Sumatra are not ready for when the next disaster hits.

    [Arief Rahman, Fisherman]:
    "I do not feel secure, I do not see effort from the government to make its people feel safe and secure about possible disasters. I do not see the government building infrastructures for it."

    In recent years, an early warning system has been wired to sirens in public places and mosques. A few tsunami-proof escape buildings have been built, and the government has designed maps showing the areas most at risk in Sumatra.


    [Indra Farni, Geologist]:
    "When disaster or a tsunami strikes, people would run to save themselves. The government must build more shelters and evacuation buildings. We have plans to build those shelters, but there's no response from the government."

    The country also lacks the national disaster mitigation laws of Japan, and cannot match the mental preparedness of the Japanese.

    [Afrianti, Resident]:
    "There were social gatherings (to discuss) about disasters in mosques or public halls for three years after the tsunami, but now we never hear of it."

    The United Nations has told governments in Asia's most catastrophe-prone areas that they should set aside 10 percent of their development funds to limit the risk of disaster.

    But Indonesia is spending $1.49 billion on disaster mitigation this year, just 1 percent of its 2011 budget.