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Aceh buries dead, peace hopes fade BANDA ACEH - Nearly 5,000 tsunami victims have been buried in Indonesia's Aceh province over the past week, but uncertainty surrounds the region's future after talks between the government and rebels broke down. Five weeks after a quake triggered massive waves around a dozen nations bordering the Indian Ocean, authorities in Indonesia say they found 5,000 more people killed by the disaster.
Indonesia was the hardest hit by the disaster, with the number of dead and missing above 170,000, according to the Indonesian Health Ministry. Aceh, which was closed to any foreigners because of a civil war, was swamped with military personnel from many countries and aid groups, and there were hopes the tsunami might bolster peace hopes. But members of the Indonesian government and the Aceh rebel movement meeting in Finland on Saturday said they cut short talks on relief operations and ways of ending a 30-year conflict in the breakaway region.
That same day, Indonesian troops clashed with Free Aceh Movement rebels in eastern Aceh, killing four guerrillas, a military spokesman said. Meanwhile, Asian nations hit by the tsunami failed to overcome their differences on which country should host a proposed early warning system in the Indian Ocean. The gathering followed a U.N. conference earlier this month in Kobe, Japan, where delegates agreed on an action plan to reduce casualties and damage wrought by natural disasters.
The Indian Ocean has no safeguard against tsunamis, unlike the Pacific that is covered by a U.S.-based warning system. Experts say such a network could have saved countless lives in last month's catastrophe. Delegates from 57 countries who met on the Thai island of Phuket this weekend struggled where to base the center that would collect seismic and oceanographical data from nations on the Indian Ocean's rim and issue alerts to coastal areas in danger. Thailand pushed hard to make a Bangkok-based disaster prevention center the hub, but faced opposition from India and Indonesia.
In the end, delegates eager to maintain broad support for the warning system and distribute responsibilities, chose a decentralized network. Some officials argued that such a set-up would make better use of the capabilities in the region."It would not be entirely effective to have a single center do so many things," said Margareta Wahlstrom, special envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She added that there are "a number of institutions" around the Indian Ocean that could serve as smaller regional centers.
But there were concerns that a decentralized system could be unwieldy, leading to high rates of false alarms leading to unnecessary evacuations. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had pledged that his country would offer $10 million towards the international warning system, The Associated Press reported. Other countries have pledged at least $8 million to the effort. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is surveying the Malacca Strait and coastal waters off Indonesia for signs that last month's devastating Indian Ocean tsunami altered the sea bed under the world's busiest shipping lane.


Link to related event Related event:
Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia


Posted in Earthquake @ 31 January 2005 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

indahnesia.com lists all earthquakes that occur in Indonesia. For your convenience we display them in a list and a Google Map. It is as accurate and recent as you can imagine as we check for updates every few minutes. If an earthquake occurs in Indonesia, this is the place to check it out in the first place.






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