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The Shifting Sands of Sanur Politics

Protests by Sanur Beach Residents Halt Tsunami Tower Construction.Planned Safety Drills on December 26, 2006 to be Delayed.

(11/27/2006) As reported on balidiscovery.com [ Construction of Bali Tsunami Warning Towers Underway], the government has commenced construction of 6 tsunami warning towers along the islandís southern beaches as part of an emergency preparedness program inspired by the boxing day tsunami disaster of 2004.

No Longer on Schedule?

Plans to have the single Sanur tower in place and operating in time for comprehensive evacuation drills scheduled for December 26, 2006, are now in doubt following protests by local residents in Sanur regarding the location of the tsunami facility in their community. The tower, containing seismic sensing equipment and a large sirens, was in an advanced stage of construction on the beach in front of the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel when local leaders complained to the government that the selected site for the tsunami facility was sacred and needed for local religious rituals.

Local Sanur officials admitted signing a statement approving the construction at the Inna Grand Bali Beach location prior to commencement of building if the warning tower, but now claim they were not aware of the size of the facility. The warning tower will measure 5x5 meters and stand 15 meters high including a tower-mounted siren weighing between 300-400 kilograms.

After extended discussions with local officials, a decision was finally made to move the location of the warning tower to the beach at the end of Jalan Matahari Terbit, in front of the present lifeguard station.

Because of the decision to relocate the facility it is now unlikely that a planned emergency drill in Sanur involving the local community and emergency services scheduled for December 26, 2006 will go ahead as planned.