ITS–No country is free from the threat of natural disasters. Disasters may result from the people’s failure to cultivate and preserve nature. They destroy the ecosystem, resulting in landslides, floods, etc. Natural disasters may also take place because of nature, like tectonic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods.
The most frequent natural disasters in Indonesia are volcanic eruptions and tectonic earthquakes. There are about 170 active volcanoes across the Indonesian archipelago. History has recorded several big eruptions in the past, which not only affected lives in the archipelago but also throughout the world.
In 1815, Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa erupted, killing more than 90,000 people and causing crop failures and famines across Europe. In 1883, Mount Krakatau in the Sunda Straits erupted and was heard far beyond Indonesia. Over 36,000 people were killed amidst the huge tidal wave that followed. The sky was darkened by its ash, and the world’s weather was disturbed for a year. Mount Agung in Bali erupted in 1963, killing 1,600 people and leaving 75,000 people homeless.
The tectonic earthquakes are no less damaging. In December 1992, about 2,000 were killed in Flores amidst a huge tidal wave caused by a tectonic earthquake. In February 1994, an earthquake hit Liwa in West Lampung, killing about 200 people. In March 1994, an earthquake caused atsunami which killed about 200 people in East Java. Then again, in May 1996, the combination of an earthquake and a tsunami killed hundreds people in Biak Island, in the province of Papua.