RI sits on Pacific "ring of fire" : official

RI sits on Pacific "ring of fire" : official

Pacific "ring of fire" (istimewa)

Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific "ring of fire", a volcanologically active terrestrial chain where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can happen any time, Syamsul Maarif, head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said.

"The Pacific `ring of fire` that stretches from a point in the Northern Pacific all the way to Indonesia poses the constant threat of major natural disasters," Syamsul said here Friday.

Syamsul was explaining Indonesia`s geographical position to a gathering of North Sulawesi local government officials and women organizations in relation with disaster management at the North Sulawesi Governor`s office.

The spread was also touched in a series of the ASEAN Regional Forum-Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF-Direx) in Manado and North Minahasa on from March 14 to 20, 2011.

The Pacific ring of Fire is also believed to have the potential to trigger volcanic eruptions, especially as every year Indonesia normally have volcanic eruptions.

Syamsul said that Indonesia rests on three main active tectonic plates namely the Euroasia, Pacific and Indo-Australian plates.

"The three tectonic plates often moved which triggered earthquakes in Indonesia each year," he said.

Indonesia has about 17 thousand islands and 81 thousand meters of coastline, or the second longest in the world, and has a population of approximately 234 million, the world`s fourth largest.

Syamsul said seen from the point of view of disasters, all corners of the Indonesian archipelago including North Sulawesi Province are prone to disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and tsunamis.(*)