Indonesia was hammered by some 2,374 natural disasters last year, the biggest and most deadly being the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Sulawesi in late September and killed more than 1,400 people and the 7.0-magnitude quake that rocked the island of Lombok in August, killing nearly 400 people.
That data comes from the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), a government institution that received a great deal of criticism for not properly warning people in those areas about the disasters early enough to save more lives.
BNPB officials have previously argued that they're been severely hampered by a lack of early detection tools and poor maintenance on the ones they have, but now they say they've got the funds needed to make desperately needed upgrades to Indonesia's disaster detection infrastructure.
"IDR7 trillion (US$500 million) will be budgeted by the Ministry of Finance [for early detection tools] over the next three years, so it will gradually reaches a total of IDR7 trillion," said BNPB head Doni Munardo at a meeting in Semarang, Central Java, today as quoted by Kompas.
While BNPB is coordinating the purchases, the tools will go to a number of related agencies including the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the Geospatial Information Agency and the Geological Agency. Doni did not name any of the specific tools that might be purchased.
According to BNPB officials, Indonesia hasn't had a functional tsunami detection buoy system, also known as deep-ocean assessment and reporting of tsunamis (DART), since 2012. Many of the system's buoy sensors have reportedly been either stolen or vandalized.