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Mentawai tsunami: solar powered radios and satellite phones could keep safe lives

11-12-2010 02:23 PM CET | Leisure, Entertainment, Miscellaneous

Press release from: Siloinak Mentawai Surf Resort

It is feasible to found an effective and yet budget tsunami warning technique by using existing structures and involving the coastal populations in its perpetuation.

The October 25 tsunami took approximately 500 souls in the Mentawai Archipelago.
There have been rumors on the Internet that the Indonesian tsunami alarm procedure had not been functional and failed to keep safe the dwellers. This does not seem factual, even if it is true that more than fifty percent of the buoys are right now not working.
An alert has been broadcast by the national TV stations in due time after the tremor. But it was meaningless for the dwellers residing there, as they do not have ac, TV, or cell-phone coverage. How to transmit tsunami warnings to them?.
In spite of an warning was issued on the Indonesian national TV stations 10 minutes after the tremor reached off the littoral of Sumatra, most of the Mentawai coastal villages did not receive it. They do not have satellite receiver.

The best means to send out a tsunami warning to these populations would be to use the Mentawai-language radio frequency broadcasted from Padang that they give attention to daily, using simple battery powered radios. The next measure will be to supply each village-head with a solar-powered radio that can stay for all time on and be used as a tsunami alert tool.

Siloinak Surf Resort is approaching this local radio station to propose aid to establish a constant guaranteed communication channel with the Indonesian tsunami warning authorities. This will allow them to broadcast a tsunami warning 5 minutes merely after the tremor.

Ideally, each village should also be donated a solar-powered Indonesian-made satellite phone PASTI, the fee of which are affordable even to poor fishermen. They would be administered by the village grocery-store, church or village head, and could be used as an advanced warning system controlled by the population themselves. Siloinak Surf Resort is trying to raise money to obtain and give away these radios and phones to the villages.

To learn more about Siloinak Mentawai Surf Resort efforts to help tsunami-hit populations, contact Gilles Bordessoule at or consult the Sustainable Development section of Mentawai Adventure’s website
Siloinak Surf Resort is a surf camp that organizes also sustainable development actions.

Siloinak Surf Resort provides surf packages all year round, established in the Mentawai islands on a private island.
Siloinak Surf Resort offers 12 bungalows, each one with its own access to the beach. Wifi, video projector and business center...

Gilles Bordessoule
Jl. Rawang, 28
Padang 25111
Sumatera Barat

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