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Geohazards in Indonesia - Earth Science for Disaster Risk Reduction


The volume is made up of 11 papers, including the introduction.  With two exceptions, the direct application of the papers by emergency managers is not presented.  This makes the title somewhat misleading and the purpose of the volume inappropriate. In addition, the bulk of the papers’ focus is on faulting and seismicity, estimating fatalities, or earthquake early-warning.  This is disappointing since there is a significant amount of geologic hazard and related risk reduction information in the published literature, including volcanic hazards, tsunamis, and landslides.

There is a brief mention in one paper on the introduction and implementation of an Indonesian Tsunami Warning System and how the warning is carried out to public officials and emergency managers, even though locally there have been efforts to educate said audience and the public as to what to do if a tsunami warning is issued or strong ground shaking occurs at or near the shoreline.  Since the tsunami warning system was first deployed there have been several tsunamis to strike potions of the country; however, there is no mention of how successful the system has been in alerting government officials including emergency managers as well as the public. 

The same paper discusses the development of SHAKE MAPS for Indonesia. The maps do not use Indonesian specific ground motion prediction equations.  The use of SHAKE MAPS in Indonesia is briefly discussed without a demonstrated tie to their use in disaster risk reduction or the use by emergency managers in mitigation, preparedness planning, public education, post-earthquake emergency response or in recovery operations. 

The paper on the development of a Bayesian approach to fatalities estimating does not account for the topography or building types of the sites used as a control.  In addition, a concise output is needed for use by the user.  This method appears to need further development before it is useful. 

Overall, I found the volume interesting but generally not directly useful in developing and implementing disaster risk reduction schemes for emergency managers, utilities or the insurance industry.  If the volume had been renamed it may have had been clearer to the reader as to the usefulness on the papers contained therein.

Reviewed by Robert Anderson

GEOHAZARDS IN INDONESIA, EARTH SCIENCE FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION edited by P R CUMMINS AND I MEILANO. Published by the Geological Society of London, ISBN:  978-1-86239-966-2 List Price:  £90 Fellows Price:  £45 W: