top of page
  • Sms Broadcaster

Tsunami-Struck Indonesia! Why Warning System Collapsed?

The tsunamis are an awful natural phenomenon that is devastating. Two damaging tsunamis occur worldwide on average every year. Almost every 15 years, there is a major devastating oceans-wide tsunami. Many nations have created a tsunami warning system separately or together to avoid unfortunate deaths. Last year, Indonesia suffered a massive earthquake and tsunami, and their alert system got failed, unfortunately. The reasons for tsunami must be understood to understand how these systems work and how they can fail.

Most basically, there is a big, sudden move on the seafloor, which causes a tsunami. That movement is usually caused by earthquakes under or close to the sea, but other prospective causes include volcanic flare-ups, underground ripples, even a landslide above sea levels, such as a big rock that breaks an iceberg or a meter that strikes the sea.

How Does Tsunami Warning System Work?

Since seismic activity on the seafloor causes a vast majority of tsunamis - but the warning systems begin with seismic monitoring. Sea-floor sensors track the earthquakes and volcanoes' seismic activity. When there is a significant seismic incident, surface boiling sensors monitor changes at sea level. Tsunami waves might be as shallow as three feet in height, so they are put in the range to determine both movement and elevation.

These sensors in the sea and the surface box send data 24/7 to tsunami warning centers. The centers are monitoring information, carrying out analytics and determining rapidly whether a tsunami alert is being issued. When an alert is sent, it will go to local radio and television, the NOAA Weather Radio and NOAA websites. Some tsunami threat regions may use other services such as bulk SMS blast to text alerts to the public as well as issue sirens and mobile notifications.

What Happened Last Year in Indonesia?

The earthquake on a scale of 7.5 hit Sulawesi, Indonesia, on 26 September 2018. A tsunami warning was issued briefly cautioning a possible of 0.5 meters before a tsunami hit Palu city. It was then estimated that the tsunami hit was close to 5 or 6 meters, resulting in widened devastation and confirmation of more than 7,000 deaths or non-found. And 10,000 people were injured.

After the tsunami, Indonesian government authorities faced sharp criticism that the people had not warned of the severity of the tsunami, and several inquiries had been performed into what failed within the warning system. As with system failures of this magnitude, various factors combined lead to the crash.


Indonesia has constructed a tsunami network, but the system is no longer functional owing to an absence of maintenance. They were 125 miles far from Palu and reported only an increase of 2.3 inches in sea level. The primary purpose of these tidal gauges is not to detect tsunamis, as their sample rate speed is only 15 minutes. Even seismometers by themselves were insufficient to forecast tsunami severity.


The alert systems like SMS broadcaster machine and other software got failed as cell phone towers in the region were already damaged and inoperable as a result of the tsunami-preventing earthquake. Due to its deep bay and adjacent hills, Palu was seen as a relatively protected city. The beach areas have not been fitted with warning sirens because of this perceived natural safety. Instead of defending the bay by funneling water to a focused point, the geography of this bay probably contributed to the severity of the tsunami, as does a narrowing river speed up flow.

Officials in Indonesia stress that a tsunami-based earthquake lasting more than 20 seconds is a danger, and if it occurs, do not wait for any alert and get to higher ground with immediate effects.

6 views0 comments
bottom of page