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Alarming Indonesia

National Tsunami Alert System to be Tested on Tuesday, November 11, 2008.

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The National News Agency Antara reports that the country-wide tsunami early-warning system will be tested on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 11, 2008.

Involving six separate siren-based systems operating in Bali, the alarms will be sounded at 4 p.m. West Indonesia Standard Time. (5 p.m. in Bali which operates on Indonesian Central Standard Time.)

Officials are urging the public not to panic when the sirens sound, emphasizing that "it is only a drill."

The tsunami alarms which will be sounded for one minute's duration are located in Bali at Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Kuta, Kedonganan, Tanjung Benoa and Sanur.

Those living, working or schooling in coastal areas in Bali would be well advised to use this occasion to identify escape routes to high ground in the event of an actual tsunami event.

Following a successful test of the alarm system on November 11th authorities plan to test the sirens on the 26th day of every month thereafter at 10 a.m. local time.

Tsunamis in Bali

In recent history, Bali has experienced two tsunami events with waves of more than 3 meters. An earthquake off the island of Sumbawa in 1997 and a wave near Banyuwangi in the Java-Bali straits in 1994 both caused some damage in Bali.

In the event of an actual tsunami - traditional kul kul alarms, mosque loud speaker systems, SMS messages and the local electronic media would all be employed to sound the alarm.

Indonesian meteorology and geophysical authorities assure that alarms would be sounded within 5 minutes of any earthquake judged to represent a tsunami threat.

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