Indonesia sits along a volatile seismic strip called the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur regularly, which can present a potential threat of tsunamis. The capacity of the Indonesian emergency and rescue services to deal with large natural disasters is limited.
The US Federal Emergency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
If a major earthquake or landslide occurs close to shore, you should follow the instructions of local authorities, bearing in mind that a tsunami could arrive within minutes. The Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning Centre issues tsunami warnings when a potential tsunami with significant impact is imminent or expected.
Large areas of the country, including parts of West Sumatra, Central, East and West Java and Jakarta have been severely affected by heavy rains and subsequent landslides and flooding in recent years. Throughout Indonesia flash floods and more widespread flooding occur regularly. Cities - especially Jakarta - often suffer severe localised flooding which can result in major traffic congestion, and occasionally deaths. The main toll road to Soekarno-Hatta international airport can be affected by flooding. Slips and landslides occur in mountainous and remote areas, but also in urban areas.
Monitor local reporting and take care when driving and walking. Keep a stock of food and bottled water and make sure your phone is charged.
There are many active volcanoes in Indonesia any of which can erupt without warning resulting in the evacuation of villages within a 3 to 7 kilometre radius. In the past, repeated eruptions have caused destruction and fatalities.
Ash clouds can affect flight schedules and the operation of regional airports. Check with your airline or travel company for the latest information.
Check media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities before travelling to areas that are prone to volcanic activity and take extra care.
If you’re in the vicinity of a volcanic eruption and affected by subsequent ash fall, you can find further information in digital pamphlets issued by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN), which cover the potential health hazards of volcanic ash and offer advice on how to prepare and cope with ash fall.