19 July 2006

Indonesia Received Tsunami Warnings

Officials in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, failed to issue a tsunami warning despite receiving data about Monday's earthquake 20 minutes before the first wave struck the island of Java.

One official told the Guardian they were too busy monitoring the aftershocks of the 7.7-magnitude quake that triggered the tsunami to raise the alarm. The government's science and technology minister, Kusmayanto Kadiman, confirmed last night that Indonesia had received bulletins from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii and Japan's meteorological agency after the quake, but "we did not announce them"....

Aerial television footage showed that virtually all the wooden buildings hit by the tsunami were swept away, along with about half the brick structures. Buildings up to half a mile inland were damaged. Some 30,000 people are thought to have fled their homes.

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