Indonesia - Geo Inquiry

By: Anubhav Pandey

Let's Start - Nov. 24

Okay, so let's start the Inquiry! I got Indonesia as my country, I don't really know anything about Indonesia geographically. I really only know that is has many volcanoes. I should really see what the country's all about. I'll get started!


Photo Credit: National Geographic, Wikipedia, guardianlv.com

Basics - Nov.26

So for the last two days I've been doing basic info on Indonesia. It's actually a very interesting country! So, I learned that the capital is Jakarta: a very large and diverse city! I was also right about the volcanoes. There are over 125 active volcanoes! The most in the entire world! As well as 250 million people! I now have a couple ideas for my questions...

Question Brainstorming - Nov. 28

I started researching even more and have been thinking about questions now, and I have some kind of idea. There are so many different natural disasters in Indonesia. And Indonesia as a country is huge,so what are the effects of the natural disasters on the country? I should probably focus on something more specific, that will help me guide my research. So I'll try to edit it and make it something concrete.


Till next time!

Huge volcano eruption in Indonesia

Volcanic Eruption In Indonesia

Questions Found!- Nov 30

So after all lot of thought, I have found my questions. It has to do with the people of Indonesia. It is: How do the natural disasters affect the culture and the society of the Indonesian people?


This is a good question because there are many different natural disasters that affect Indonesia. Everything from huge earthquakes to mega tsunamis, and usually kill and impacts thousands.


I'll start my research after conferencing. Let's Start!

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Research! - Dec.2

I have gotten approved for my questions that mean I can start the research. But during my research, I wan't to diversify my notes as much as possible. This means using more than just website: Books, Videos, Pictures, People and more! So I'll will start and get back in a couple days.

More Research.. - Dec. 6

So I've collected more research about the basics of Indonesia.


Overview Of Indonesia:

  • Capital is Jakarta

  • Population of 250 million

  • Over 14, 000 Islands

  • 4th most populated in country (World)

  • Central Island Of Java (51% Of Pop.)

  • 3rd largest Democracy

  • 10th Largest Economy (Purchasing Power) (27%)

  • 28.6 million Of Pop. Live in Poverty

  • Part Of The Pacific Ring (Ring Of Fire)

  • Has 400 Volcanoes (150 Active, 75%)

  • Economy Centers Around Agriculture -

Oil and Trade (90% Pop. In Agriculture)

  • One of Most Frequent In The World for Earthquakes

This information outlines how large and populated the country is, and how natural disasters could potentially affect thousands of people. And what the effect of the natural disaster is.


Links:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2748.htm

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Indonesian_Volcano_Culture

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Map Of The Volcanoes Spread Out In Indonesia. Photo Credit : Wikipedia

This photo shows just how many volcanoes are in Indonesia, and where they are geographically. There are 6-7 volcanoes alone very near to the capital city. With a population of 10 million people, it really shows how vulnerable the country is, and how that feeling affects the people.
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Research "AHA!" - Dec 12

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been doing a lot or research and I'm back!

I have gotten some great Info, that is very important to the answer of my question, as well as some images that will also help.


Info:


  • Many Small Villages Around Volcanoes

  • 120 Million People Live Near Volcanoes

  • 140, 000 Deaths In The Last 500 Years

  • Many Believe Volcanoes Are Deities, Perform Rituals

  • Manu Volcanoes Cause Huge Evacuations

  • Many Children And Adults Wear Masks To Protect Them From Ash

  • Often Causes Many Instances of Lung disease and Cancer

  • Hundreds Of Thousands Have To Evacuate Into Temporary Shelters

  • Roads, Buildings and Parks Often Covered In Ash

  • Often Halt Planes Other Transportation

  • Live Near Volcanoes Often Because Of Fertile Land

  • Many Believe Volcano Deities Will Protect Them

  • 27% Of Indonesians Live Below Poverty Line -

Usually Affected The Most By Natural Disasters

  • Natural Disasters Damage Property - And Stop Economic Growth

  • Create Burden On Government + National Budget

To Finance Post Disaster Rehabilitation programs

  • Increase Of Natural Disasters Multiply The Amount of People Living In Poverty

Table Of Volcano Eruptions in Indonesia's history

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Table Of Recent Earthquakes

Final Research! - Dec.15

Hey!


This is my final bit of research before the winter break! There is a lot of information, and along with many of the charts I think i have enough information to answer my question. But there is still work to do, I need to hand in a graph (of my own creation) that has to do with my question. I need to brainstorm so ideas, so I'll get back to you soon!


  • Natural Disasters Create Nation Wide Shock due to natural calamities

  • Often Earthquakes are Terrifying Due To Unpredictable Nature and affecting large area

  • Many Controversial answers to the Natural Disasters -

Usually Governing Bodies Blame Natural Phenomena For Smaller Impacts (Ex. Floods)

  • Though often Blamed On Deforestation

  • Many Islands Don’t have Early detection systems

  • Leads To Many Inaccurate Warnings Of The Disasters

  • Extreme wet or dry seasons can ruin food crop harvests -

  • trigger inflation -

  • Put severe financial pressure on poor

  • There is at least one significant volcano eruption in Indonesia every year

  • The Eurasian Plate + Pacific Plate + Indo-Australian Plate = three active tectonic plates that cause the subduction zones form these volcanoes

  • volcanic eruption can cause considerable damage to the local economies by hurting companies that are involved in tourism, culinary, commercial accommodation, agriculture, plantation, and livestock

  • volcano eruptions take less human lives today due to better volcano observation methods in combination with better organized emergency evacuations

  • Earthquakes are probably the biggest threat regarding natural disasters in Indonesia - They are sudden and can strike in populous areas such as the bigger cities

  • In A Year two or three earthquakes with a magnitude of seven or higher occur in Indonesia and cause casualties and damage the infrastructure or environment

  • high number of Indonesian casualties is caused by the bad state of some housing facilities and infrastructure

  • This is why a average earthquake can result in many casualties, the collapse of many buildings and the displacement of people

  • 30 Volcanoes are on the Most Populated Island Of Java

  • Volcanoes are worshiped as sacred home of deities

  • The Balinese people sleep with their heads toward nearby volcanoes

  • When the Nage people die they’re usually buried with their feet pointing in the direction of the ocean and their head toward Mount Ebulobo (a Stratovolcano)

  • When volcanoes seem “restless” offerings are made

  • The offerings can be vegetables money chickens and goats

  • This is to satisfy the gods, as well as bring happiness and good fortune

  • Many Indonesians believe that natural disasters are caused by personal behavior as well as influence the success or downfall of a leader (eg. political candidate)

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Graph Planning Finished! - Dec.17

Hey!


Well, I've done so more research as well as some planning and I've finally have an idea on what my map will be about. So I think I will do a comparison map, that compares the different volcanoes (see Fig.2) in Indonesia with the areas with the largest population density. This will show how vulnerable certain parts of the country is, and what the risks are of staying there. I have done some looking around, and I will do my graph on the National Geographic Map Creator. It allows me to add specific icons and give a variety of detail when adding in my data for population density. I better get started soon, it's due tomorrow!

Taking a Break! + Finding Contacts - Dec. 18

So, winter break is just about to start, and I will try to go easy and just relax. So I might not be posting for a while, but don't worry I'll still have work to do. I have to think of contacts to give some insight on my question. So, I will think of who I should contact during the break.
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Contacts - Jan.5

So I've contacted many different organizations;


I first contacted the Indonesian Embassy in Ottawa, I figured that people with firsthand experience of living in Indonesia, will help answer the culture aspect of the question. I called them, but I didn't have any luck and was put on hold for 3 hours... :( So I am now going to send them an email.


I've also contacted earthquake and natural disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. I figured they might have seen how some survivors feel and are impacted by the natural disaster.


I've also contacted Ms. Grimwood, for suggestions on people I should contact.


I am waiting for replies on all 3.

Conclusion! - Jan.7

Indonesia is a large country, with a population of 250 million and over 14, 000 islands. It has the 10th largest economy and the 3rd largest democracy. It is located in the "Ring of Fire" also known as the Pacific Ring, an area with a lot of tectonic plate activity. This causes Indonesia to have many volcanoes and earthquakes, as well as many other types of natural disasters. I wanted to know how these natural disasters affect the culture and society of the Indonesian people.


Due to the frequency of natural disasters in Indonesia, many have adapted them into their culture. There are 120 million people living near volcanoes, and many believe them to be deities or gods. They worship these volcanoes and preform many different rituals; The Balinese people sleep with their heads toward nearby volcanoes and when the Nage people die they’re usually buried with their feet pointing in the direction of the ocean and their head toward Mount Ebulobo. Many people integrate these rituals and views into their traditional religion, often praying or going to church in the morning and making sacrifices to the volcano deities later in the day. They also believe that the volcano deities will protect them or look over them, sometimes causing people to refuse evacuation of their homes. Many Indonesians believe that natural disasters are caused by personal behavior as well as influence the success or downfall of a leader (eg. political candidate). For many Indonesians, living beside a volcano or feeling an earthquake once or twice a day is commonplace, because of this natural disasters integrate into their culture, and is a way of life.


Indonesia has the most earthquakes in the entire world, and is one of the most likely places for an earthquake to occur, this causes the Indonesian people to "live" with natural disasters. This causes a huge impact on how people in Indonesia live their lives. Natural disaster cause huge financial pressure on the country, they damage property and stop economic growth. They directly impact the population living in poverty, with survivors usually only getting temporary relocation and with no date of when they can go back. Natural disasters also affect the the GDP, with 91% of the country working in agriculture, major floods or droughts can decimate much of the crop harvest triggering inflation. But natural disasters don't just damage the country economically, they also damage the country physiologically. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions often happen randomly, and many of the islands don't have early detection systems. This causes the Indonesian people to constantly live in fear of a natural disaster. There is still hope though, volcanic eruptions take less lives today due to better volcano observation and organized public evacuations as well as city/sector wide drills for earthquakes. But the problem is still there. In a year, two or three earthquakes with a magnitude of seven or higher occur in Indonesia and cause casualties and damage the infrastructure or the environment. There are still a high number of Indonesian casualties is caused by the bad state of some housing facilities and infrastructure throughout many parts of the country. Natural disasters are a huge problem, they put strain on the economic future of they country, the kill thousands and make others worry about their own safety. The social impacts of natural disasters are huge, and often cause much pressure on the country. But there are solutions are they are slowly getting better to one day, hopefully provide a safe home for millions of people.