Can architecture save people from disaster?

LANDSLIDE DEATHS. In this file photo taken on January 1, 2019, rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Sukabumi, West Java province. Photo by AFP Full Story:

Tsunami hazard and its challenges for preparedness

Three major disasters in 2018 taught some painful lessons about the challenges of tsunami preparedness and early warning in Indonesia.

In August, a strong earthquake hit Lombok. A subsequent tsunami warning by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) for northern Lombok created panic among residents and visitors in Lombok and on the Gili Islands. The incident revealed that there is still little public understanding about warning procedures and levels of the national tsunami warning system (InaTEWS).

A couple of weeks later, Sulawesi experienced a tsunami, which most likely was triggered by various landslides as a cascading effect of a strong earthquake. The tsunami arrived within a few minutes after the earthquake; too fast to warn the public. Even so, the BMKG was able to send out a warning within five minutes but it did not reach residents in high-risk areas…


Can architecture save people from disaster?

Back in August 2018, the island of Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) was hit by a series of earthquakes that destroyed more than 32,000 houses, as reported by

However, a number of traditional wooden houses in Senaru village and Batu Layar district were left unharmed despite being rocked by a 7.0-magnitude quake. Indriyatno, a lecturer in the forestry department at Mataram University in West Nusa Tenggara, told that the locals had actually inherited cultural wisdom about living on the ring of fire by adapting to their environment.

The need to live harmoniously with nature was also voiced by Indonesian architect Yu Sing from Studio Akar Anomali (Akanoma). In a public lecture held during the Indonesian Cultural Congress in December last year, the architect stressed the importance of constructing disaster-sensitive building using natural resources that connect to nature…

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