Indonesia Didn't Relay Tsunami Warnings

The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 18, 2006; 11:49 AM

PANGANDARAN, Indonesia -- A government minister said Tuesday that Indonesia received warnings from two regional agencies that the powerful undersea earthquake had the potential to trigger a tsunami, but it did not try to pass them on to threatened communities.

Science and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman said Indonesia received the bulletins from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and Japan's Meteorological Agency after the quake, but "we did not announce them."

The warnings were sent about 45 minutes before the tsunami struck.

Even if the government had an attempt to contact the local authorities by phone, radio or e-mail, it's unclear how those warnings would have been passed along to residents or tourists on the beach with no system of sirens or alarms in place.

Coastal residents reported that they did not feel the earthquake.

© 2006 The Associated Press