Indonesia may be known for its beautiful beaches and volcanic mountains daunting its landscape, but those very two factors have become the major cause of its destruction, time and again. Known for some of the exotic tourist destinations like Bali, Gili Islands, Lombok or the best national parks and underwater surfing, Indonesia is currently in the news far from touristy. The island of Sulawesi was hit by an earthquake of 7.4 magnitude on September 28, following which there has a tsunami causing massive destruction. The death toll is currently at 832 and is only expected to rise. The areas on this island are badly hit and the the waves are rising above 6 meters in some places. Tsunami Havoc in Indonesia: 832 People Lost Lives after Earthquake Rocked Island Country On Friday; Death Toll Expected To Rise.
The situation is worsening as the land remaining turns to a graveyard. With lack of heavy equipment, the rescue operations are also taking some time. The loss of life is huge, and to help those affected the resources are less. But this is not the first time, Indonesian earthquake and tsunami has made it to the news. The nation is located at a location strategic to volcanic eruptions, floods and tsunamis. Over the last 20 years, the country has seen disasters very closely. Earthquake in Lombok: Three Killed After 7.0 Magnitude Quake Rocks the Tourist Island Near Bali in Indonesia.
Some of the Destructive Earthquakes and Tsunamis That Took Place in Indonesia
Sumatra Earthquake 1797
Not one but a series of great earthquakes were felt on February 10, 1797. The tsunamis followed later and caused a severe damage. The Batu Island was very much affected. It was one of the strongest earthquakes experienced by the residents of Padang area. The tsunami waves were in the range of 5-10 metres.
Ceram Earthquake, 1899
The Cerum Dutch Indies were a series of Dutch Colony in present day Indonesia. On September 30, 1899 a 7.8 m earthquake and 10 metre accompanying tsunami swept away parts of the villages here completely. It spread in all directions and parts of the shore broke off and merged with the sea. The resultant tsunami flooded the villages located nearby the shores. Close to 4,000 lives were lost along with some bay areas and villages.
Sulawesi Earthquake, 1968
On August 14, 1968 along with 7.4 m earthquake, a massive tsunami on the Sulawesi land killed 200 plus people. The tsunami waves were 8 metres in height and reached up to 300 metres inland. 700 homes were destroyed, but they subsided slowly. In this calamity, the island of Tuguan was sunk completely.
Flores Earthquake, 1992
The island of Flores in Indonesia was considered the largest and deadliest earthquakes on the year. At 7.8 magnitude and severe intensity, the aftershocks were serious. 2,500 people were killed and 90,000 were left homeless. Almost 80% of the all the structures in Maumere were destroyed. The tsunami waves height was 25 metres. The World Bank offered support in the rehabilitation process.
Indian Ocean Earthquake and tsunami, 2004
An earthquake of 9.3 magnitude undersea occurred at northern Sumatra on December 26. The resultant tsunamis were felt in not just Indonesia, but eventually to Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. This is in fact, the deadliest natural disasters recorded in history. It was the third-largest earthquake which lasted for 10 minutes. Called the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, it started in Sumatra and the after effects were felt in every surrounding country. The tsunamu heights in Sumatra were 30 metres. Three small islands of Weh, Breueh and Nasi were completely destroyed. There was not one occurrence but back to back tsunami waves which caused major damage. Overall 2,27,898 people died in this calamity.
Mentawai Earthquake and tsunami, 2010
On 25 October, 2010, the western coast of Sumatra felt tremors of earthquake of 7.7 magnitude followed by a tsunami which went 600 metres inland. More than 20 villages were hit and 20,000 people were affected. 435 people were killed and 100 went missing. But the earthquake had many aftershocks after the initial quake.
As you can see, the nation has been battling with these disasters since the 1700s and the occurrence has only rising in the last few years. In the 2000s, almost every 2 years, the country is suffering from earthquakes in different parts and the aftereffects are only worse. These growing natural disasters are also a result of man-made encroachment and action. The popular tourist spot has so much to lose to nature and it is sad to see, year after year parts of the country braving the risk of all their livelihoods.