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TSUNAMI RISK - Multi-risk assessment and cascade effect analysis in cooperation between Indonesia and Germany - Joint research on tsunamis induced by volcanoes and landslides


Disaster Research Unit (DRU)

Principal Investigator:

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
German Research Centre for Geoscience (Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, GFZ)


BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
Grant ID : 03G0906A

Project Partners in Germany :

  • German Aerospace Center e. V. (DLR)
  • Technische Universität Braunschweig (TU-BS)
  • Technische Universität Berlin (TU-B)
  • Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW)

Project Partners in Indonesia:

  • Universitas Indonesia (UI)
  • Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)
  • Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)
  • Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)
  • Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG)
  • National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN)
  • The Agency for the Assessment & Application of Technology (BPPT)
  • National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB)

Associated Partners:

  • German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC)
Mar 01, 2021 — Feb 29, 2024
Tsunami Risk Logo

Tsunami Risk Logo

The aim of the overall Tsunami Risk project, full title «Multi-risk assessment and cascade effect analysis in cooperation between Indonesia and Germany - Joint research on volcano- and landslide-induced tsunamis», is to improve the functioning of the tsunami Early Warning Systems (EWS) in Indonesia. Such an EWS is in place since 2011, and has been successfully incorporated into the warning and decision-making chains several times, thus helping save lives. Yet, a small percentage of tsunamis can be caused by cascading events which cannot be sensed by the existing EWS. This was demonstrated in 2018, when a major flank collapse of a volcano at Anak Krakatau led to a landslide and to meter-high tsunami waves hitting coastal areas of the islands of Java and Sumatra. The Tsunami Risk project, implemented by a consortium of German and Indonesian research institutions and coordinated on the German side by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) aims to close that gap.

The Disaster Research Unit critically observes and supports the process as part of the Tsunami Risk Working Package entitled ‘Cultures of knowledge and practices of disaster risk management in Indonesia’. Importantly, helping improve the EWS is not only a matter of volcanology, seismology, remote sensing, modelling and monitoring efforts. The human factor plays a key role all along the information and decision-making chain. Historically and socio-economically grown risk cultures influence the way in which risks and possible technological improvements are perceived and dealt with.

The DRU research thus focuses on two thematic areas, relying on methods such as desktop research, expert interviews and participatory workshops. First, it aims to understand the social and cultural foundations of risk management in Indonesia. How are multiple risks dealt with contextually, taking tsunami risk management in Indonesia and the specific case-study sites of Anak Krakatau and Palu as example? Second and building on these research efforts, it interrogates the manner in which the geo-scientific knowledge generated as part of the research endeavour is actually translated into practice. How does it come alive within Indonesian institutions, which choices and changes are made along the process? In answering these questions, the DRU aims to contribute to current academic debates in the field of risk culture and Science and Technology Studies. In a third and final step, the DRU helps process and consolidate the findings from the overall research consortium into guidelines and recommendations for action.