National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2021

Hard lessons of the 2018 Indonesian Tsunamis

Titov, V.V.

Pure Appl. Geophys., 178, 1121–1133, doi: 10.1007/s00024-021-02731-0, View online (open access) (2021)

Within 4 months of 2018, two fatal tsunamis struck islands of Indonesia with ferocity that astonished local population, tsunami warning systems and scientists. For both of these events, the September 28 Palu Bay tsunami in Sulawesi and the 22 December Anak Krakatau tsunami in Sunda Strait, the initial tsunami source data was either non-suggestive or simply non-existent to imply such a devastating wave impact. International teams of scientists, members of the International Tsunami Survey Team, descended to Indonesia to help local scientists collecting all possible data from these two events, investigating the origins of these tsunamis to explain the unexpected tsunami strength. The analysis of the observation data presented in this collection of papers mostly explains the unexpectedly devastating impact from these two unusual tsunami events. The lessons learned from the response to these two events coupled with the new scientific understanding of tsunami genesis will provide improved guidance for more effective tsunami warning operations for Indonesia and the coastlines around the World.

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