Death toll from Indonesian quakes, tsunami rises to 1,424
admin • October 5, 2018 • 3172
Sand is placed over dead bodies of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami during a mass burial at the Poboya Cemetery in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
The death toll from the multiple quakes and ensuing tsunami in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province has risen to 1,424, an official said at a joint press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.
Many victims are feared to still be buried in the ruins of Palu, the provincial capital, and in the districts of Donggala and Sigi, according to the spokesman of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.
Sutopo told the press that 1,200 of the victims were from Palu and that most of the deceased victims have been laid to rest by Wednesday.
The spokesman added that the death toll from last Friday’s disaster is expected to rise as there are reports that hundreds of locals could still be trapped under the ruins of the houses leveled by the quakes.
Daryono, head of the earthquake and tsunami information center at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said that Sulawesi historically sees frequent tsunamis but that the disaster this time was difficult to forecast and exceeded worst predictions. Considering there are nearly 300 seismically active areas in the country, Daryono warned that people should stay away from the coastline anytime a quake occurs.
“The maximum plate movement happened in Sulawesi, separating Sulawesi Island into east and west parts from Palu Bay to the Gulf of Boni. This is the most likely plate movement to happen in Indonesia,” said Daryono. — Reuters
MANILA, Philippines – The stability of a structure is best tested during strong earthquakes.
However, inspections usually take days to determine if a building has damage or if it can be declared safe to use.
To help in the process, a Filipino inventor has created a device which can be installed to a structure to measure its strength.
It is called the universal structural health evaluation and recording system (USHER).
Dr. Francis Aldrine-Uy said with the device, a building’s structural condition can be assessed just a few hours after an earthquake.
The local government units (LGUs), meanwhile, can immediately direct orders even to the most affected areas right after the device’s assessment is seen.
“Makikita na natin kung nakapula yung mga building na iyon, ibig sabihin nag-suffer ng structural damage ang mga building na iyon after an earthquake (We can see if the buildings are in color red, it means that the building suffered structural damage after the earthquake,)” explained Dr. Uy, the President and CEO of USHER, the inventor of the device.
“Doon po natin i-concentrate ang tulong o ang response na pwede nating madala doon, (That’s where we may concentrate our response,)” he added.
The invention, which is in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), can be installed in public facilities like bridges and railways of MRT and LRT.
The device can also measure the degree of intensity when an earthquake strikes.
Regarding the price, Uy said it is way cheaper than those made abroad.
“It could be at least 50% lower in cost,” Dr. Uy said.
“And of course, it will be more sustainable dahil nga ito ay gawang Pinoy at dito natin mina-manufacture (because it’s Filipino made and is locally manufactured),” he added.
Dr. Uy said the instrument can help in mitigating the impact of a strong quake like ‘the Big One’ which is expected to cause massive damages and loss of thousands of lives. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
Protests around Indonesia’s Papua province entered third day on Wednesday (August 21), as extra police officers and military were sent in to contain the situation.
In Timika, where the giant Grasberg copper and gold mine operated by the Indonesian unit of Freeport McMoran is located, video shows protesters holding banners and shouting “we are not monkeys” as they march down the streets.
Protesters were also reported to have thrown rocks at a parliament building, houses, shops and a hotel.
Indonesian police have sent 1,200 additional officers to West Papua, Muhammad Iqbal, a national police spokesman told media.
While a separatist movement has simmered for decades in Papua, with frequent complaints of rights abuses by Indonesian security forces, the recent anger appears to be linked to racist slurs against Papuan students who were detained last week.
Papuan students were detained in the East Java city of Surabaya over accusations that they had disrespected the Indonesian flag in front of a dormitory during celebrations of Independence Day on Saturday (August 17). (Reuters)
Once home to rice farmers and their luscious green paddy fields, this Indonesian village is now a dump for truckloads of rubbish.
As Indonesia looks to tackle the country’s growing mountain of trash, the residents of East Java’s 200-hectare Bangun village have found a way to reel in profit from the problem — by opening their gates to garbage trucks and choosing to turn their fertile fields into rubbish sorting plots.
The health and environmental repercussions for Bangun village might be huge, said non-government organization, Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (ECOTON), which has been observing the issue in the area for the last five years.
Now, more than 60 percent of the village residents have opted to enter the rubbish sorting business, and for the time being, that looks unlikely to drop.
“If I’m farming, I need to wait three months to get results, but if I’m sorting rubbish, we can make money in a day, two days or even a week,” said one farmer, Siti Maimanah.
On average, a worker in Bangun can earn between $7-14 per week picking through the sea of paper and plastic, and that can rise to $35 if the piles are particularly high – a tempting proposition when the farming alternative would leave them waiting with nothing for weeks on weeks, said Maimanah.
Ecoton said it has obtained evidence that the garbage in the area is imported from at least 54 countries around the world, including Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia, under the pretense it is ‘paper waste’. Reuters found plastic packaging amongst the piles, including from Canada and the United States.
That’s adding on top of the huge amount of garbage the world’s fourth-most populous country with 260 million people generates on its own.
Earlier this year, the city of Surabaya sent back more than 200 tonnes of trash to Australia and U.S. as part of efforts to push back ‘foreign trash’ amid a spike in imports from Western countries after China banned imports.
“Our country has been labeled a dirty country and now America is adding their rubbish on top. Sending this garbage is clearly a violation of the law,” said Ecoton’s protest coordinator, Prigi Arisandi, during a recent protest in front of the U.S. consulate in Indonesia’s second-biggest city, Surabaya.
The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands has been struggling to cope with the waste, with much of it going into landfill and often eventually seeping out to pollute rivers and oceans. According to a 2015 study published in the Science journal, Indonesia was the world’s second-biggest contributor of plastic pollutants in the oceans.
The mountain of trash in Bangun village is also not going to vanish overnight despite the government’s efforts and plan to set up waste-to-energy plants across the country.
And for now, Indonesians like Maimanah say their day-to-day survival is far more important than the environment. (REUTERS)
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