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18 July, 2006

No tsunami alert system in place to guard Indonesia

Lack of funds has crippled the creation of a tsunami warning system, leaving earthquake-prone Indonesia without a single working detection buoy, an official said on Tuesday, a day after a tsunami killed over 270 people. No sirens alerted residents in Pangandaran beach, the worst-hit area of Monday's tsunami, after a 7.7 magnitude quake struck 180 km (112 miles) offshore in the Indian Ocean.

Edi Prihantoro, an official at Indonesia's Ministry of Research and Technology that oversees a national warning project, told Reuters the southern Java area had no system to warn people of coming waves. Indonesia deployed two tsunami buoys last year off Sumatra island, part of a five-year project to install similar detectors all around the world's largest archipelago.

But when asked how many of them were operational, Prihantoro said: "None."

Read the Full Article at Reuters AlertNet
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