• Thank you friends readers and passers-by for your continuous support to my blog. I will not be able to update often now and many articles and short story left hanging in the draft box due to the pressure of time lately but nevertheless I am trying to cope with it and will post few as time goes by.

    Pleasant day and have a good life.

    Love

    Sanaa

    Good things come to those who wait.
    Better things come to those who try.
    Best things come to those who believe.
    Desired things come to those who pray.

    "Islamic Thinking"

    A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
    Lao Tzu

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Bumi Ini

Hujan adalah rahmat. Pohon dan alam mengucap syukur setiap kali hujan turun. Begitu juga kita manusia. Titisan hujan yang membasahi bumi membuat udara nyaman sepanjang hari walaupun tidak di senangi oleh sebahagian masyarakat di bumi yang bertuah ini. Hakikatnya seperti rambut sama hitam hati lain-lain begitu jugalah penerimaan hujan di muka bumi.

Setiap kali kejadian alam menimpa, bumi akan berubah bentuknya. Gempa bumi, tanah runtuh, ribut taufan serta hujan dan gunung berapi adalah hikmah alam. Sesuatu yang telah ada sejak wujudnya bumi ini. Ketika di zaman persekolahan lagi kita telah belajar tentang perubahan struktur alam ini. Di dalam matapelajaran Geography.telah menerangkan dalam beberapa tahun atau ratusan tahun sesuatu kejadian akan berlaku lalu merubah bentuk muka bumi di dunia ini.

Meletupnya Karakatoa ratusan tahun dahulu, Merapi baru-baru ini, gempa bumi di New Zealand di ikuti oleh tsunami di Jepun telah tercatit dalam diari alam. Tidak akan ada siapapun yang dapat menghalang kehadirannya. Cuma apabila kita manusia di anugerahkan akal dan kelebihan fikiran lalu dapat mengkaji dan dengan menggunakan lapuran kajian yang ada cuba dengan sedaya upaya bersedia menghadapi keadaan ini.

Walaupun begitu dengan lapuran ramalan yang ada tidak semua menepati dan sesuatu yang pasti kejadian tetap akan berlaku. Tidak sesekali dapat kita menukar arah atau menghalangnya dari berlaku. Kerosakan harta benda dan kehilangan nyawa adalah di antara kesedihan yang bakal di ratapi tapi bukan untuk kita sesali kejadian yang menimpa.

Sekali lagi bila duduk berbual banyak perkara yang boleh di ceritakan. Dari gossip orang-orang kenamaan sehinggalah hukum alam. Oleh kerana gossip tidak mendatangkan faedah kami cuba meneliti apa yang berlaku di sebalik tsunami yang melanda. Bukan menidakkannya tapi sedih dan kecewa dengan sikap orang-orang kita. Walaupun ia tidak menjejaskan sesiapa dari sudut mata kasar tapi menunjukan betapa ceteknya pemikiran kita terhadap perkara-perkara begini. Apabila tsunami telah melanda ada pula pihak-pihak mula mengeluarkan hadis dan sunnah tentang ini. Sebagaimana yang kita tahu kejadian alam sudah termaktub di dalam Al-Quran.

Hanya segelintir daripada kita yang mengkajinya dan selebihnya mengharapkan penjelasan dari ulama-ulama barangkali. Yang menjadi kesedihan di hati saya dan rakan-rakan adalah setelah kejadian berlaku terlalu banyak berita dan cerita di hebahkan di sertakan dengan hadis-hadis dan sunnah ini. Ia adalah sesuatu yang baik andainya kita di hebahkan dengan perkara ini terlebih dahulu sebagai peringatan kepada umat Islam di Malaysia dan tidak mengambil kejadian sebagai bahan jenaka dan menuduh negara yang terlibat tidak peka terhadap struktur mukabuminya.

Kami sebaik mungkin tidak mahu menggunakan agama dalam diskusi kami kerana kami bukan ahli. Namun kami mensyukuri anugerah Allah kepada manusia dengan akal fikiran yang diberi lalu ada di antara hambaNya merupakan ahli kaji bumi dan ahli sains. Semakin maju dan meningkatnya kajian sains membolehkan akal manusia meramal kejadian. Namun tidak semua ramalan menepati. Secara amnya Jepun juga tidak menduga bahawa gegaran yang di hadapi kali ini adalah yang paling kuat dan terburuk dalam sejarah sejak 140 tahun dahulu. Begitu juga dengan lambungan ombak. Ramalan yang di keluarkan, ombak hanya akan berada di ¾ meter ke darat tapi sewaktu tsunami berlaku ia membawa kepada 10 meter ke darat.

Negara Jepun memang punyai banyak gegaran-gegaran kecil tidak kira masa. Lebih kurang 1000 gegaran di anggarkan dalam masa setahun. Gegaran-gegaran ini adalah biasa bagi penduduk di sana akan tetapi gegaran-gegaran besar yang pernah mereka hadapi belum pernah sekuat ini. Jepun tidak bersedia untuknya walaupun dengan segala teknologi yang ada, tapi patutkah kita mengatakan tsunami melanda Jepun kerana tidak mengambil kira struktur bentuk mukabumi? Pada pandangan saya Jepun amat berhati-hati di dalam segala pembangunan yang di laksana sehingga membuatkan para saintis mereka mencipta bahan binaan yang mampu untuk menahan gegaran-gegaran yang pernah berlaku.

Meniti memori ketika melawat Negara Jepun beberapa tahun yang lalu saya dapati mereka menjaga struktur mukabumi dengan baik sekali. Menyedari hakikat keadaan negara mereka yang sebegitu bangunan-bangunan mencakar langit tidak menjadi idaman. Mungkin ada satu dua di Tokyo tapi tidak di bahagian lain negara tersebut. Hokkaido, Sapporo, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto dan banyak lagi rata-rata mempunyai struktur bangunan yang rendah. Kalau tidak silap saya sebahagian Kobe telah di resab sehingga tiada pembangunan lagi kerana ia merupakan kota tinggalan sejarah.

Berbekalkan teknologi yang tinggi Jepun berjaya mendidik masyarakatnya untuk tidak berlebih dalam hal pembikinan rumah. Sejauh mata memandang rumah kediaman orang Jepun boleh di katakan sama sahaja. Yang membezakan adalah ciri-ciri di dalam kediaman tersebut. Tiada rangka kerawang serta jubin dari Paris yang menghiasi rumah mereka.

Kepesatan pembangunan dan tingginya kos kehidupan membuat kediaman mereka seperti sebuah kotak yang kemas dan teratur. Tandas, bilik tidur dan ruang tamu cukup untuk ahli keluarga. Mereka mengekalkan tradisi dan budaya dalam rekaan rumah. Tidak ada ruang yang berlebihan atau tidak di gunakan di dalam rumah mereka. Kepada golongan yang berada kawasan kediaman mereka lebih kepada kawasan yang berbukit, namum pembikinannya amat rapi dan teratur. Walaupun tiada agama yang di anuti masyarakat Jepun masih punyai nilai-nilai kemanusiaan yang tinggi.

Setelah meniti memori ia membawa saya kembali ke tanahair yang semestinya kita cintai. Dengan jenaka yang kedengaran saya dan rakan memerhati sekeliling, kita yang seharusnya sedar tentang bentuk muka bumi yang kita ubah dek rakusnya pembinaan. Bekerja di tengah-tengah pusat bandar membuat saya melihat perubahan ini dari hari ke hari dan sehingga kini tiada lagi tanah yang kosong di sekitar Jalan Tun Razak. Kesemuanya di penuhi oleh bangunan tinggi. Yang masih tinggal juga sedang dibersihkan dan menunggu masa untuk dibangunkan. Begitu juga di sepanjang Jalan Ampang. Adakalanya tercetus juga pertanyaan siapakah yang mahu menjadi penghuni di dalam bangunan yang tinggi-tinggi ini.

Di negara kita telah banyak hutan ditebang dan dibersihkan bagi tujuan pembangunan. Sebagai memenuhi tuntutan untuk menjadi negara maju pada fikiran saya ada perkara yang mesti dikorbankan. Namun perlukah kita korbankan keselamatan penduduk? Apakah kita telah lupa apa yang pernah terjadi dan masih rakus menerangkan hutan serta membina bangunan-bangunan tinggi serta di lereng-lereng bukit?

Runtuhnya block A Highland Towers pada 11 December 1993 yang meragut 48 nyawa seperti yang di lapurkan (walaupun ada kenyataan yang mengatakan jumlah kematian adalah 55 orang). Di ikuti oleh kejadian runtuhnya sebuah rumah bunglow di kawasan berhampiran pada tahun 2002 yang meragut 8 nyawa dalam satu keluarga serta kejadian terbaru di Bukit Antarabangsa pada 6 Dec 2008 pada pukul 3.30 am yang meragut 5 nyawa dan memusnahkan beberapa buah rumah kediaman. Ini adalah kejadian kedua dan terburuk di Bukit Antarabangsa. Kejadian pertama tidak melibatkan kehilangan nyawa tapi membuatkan keseluruhan penduduk Bukit Antarabangsa terkandas kerana jalan keluar masuk tertutup oleh timbunan tanah dan batu. Di waktu itu tiada jalan alternatif bagi penduduk Bukit Antarabangsa sehinggalah pihak Majlis Perbandaran membuka jalan sementara yang amat sukar bagi semua jenis kenderaan di waktu itu.

Apabila kejadian berlaku barulah di buat kajian dan penyebab utama adalah sistem pengairan yang tidak di titikberatkan dan juga struktur tanah yang tidak kukuh. Pembinaan bangunan di atas tanah-tanah begini dan di lereng-lereng bukit memerlukan kajian terperinci dan memastikan sistem pengairan yang baik. Block A Highland Towers runtuh setelah hujan turun dengan tidak henti-henti selama 10 hari. Ini juga mengakibatkan 2 block lagi tidak selamat diduduki. Di dapati takungan air telah mengalih dan mengerakkan tanah adalah punca runtuhnya satu block kediaman. Setelah hampir 18 tahun berlalu mungkin ramai telah lupa kejadian ini menyebabkan lebih banyak rumah di bina di sekitarnya. Ini juga berlaku di Bukit Antarabangsa. Ketika kejadian berlaku pada tahun 2008, masih ada lebih kurang 10 projek di lapurkan menanti untuk di bangunkan. Setelah mendengar lapuran saya dan jiran tetangga sebagai penduduk merasa amatlah hairan bagaimana ini boleh berlaku dan bukit mana lagi yang hendak di ratakan?

Sememangnya kita mudah lupa, setelah hampir lima tahun berlalu sudah ada lebih kurang tiga projek dibina dan satu kawasan sedang dibersihkan untuk tujuan pembangunan. Yang menyedihkan kawasan yang sedang dibersihkan ini berhadapan dengan kawasan kejadian tanah runtuh yang pertama di Bukit Antarabangsa dan papan tanda Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya terpacak lagi di beberapa kawasan lereng bukit. Lebih menyedihkan bungalow mewah yang sedang di rancangkan mempunyai pandangan dan berlatar belakangkan tanah perkuburan kaum Cina. Tidak ada salahnya tapi apakah ini pandangan yang diingini?

Apabila laluan kedua dibuka kepada penduduk Bukit Antarabangsa selepas kejadian tanah runtuh yang pertama adalah sesuatu yang memeranjatkan. Bukan saja laluan kedua yang dibina, seluruh kawasan bukit dibersihkan maka terdirilah ribuan unit rumah yang sekaligus menghilangkan kedamaian di Bukit Antarabangsa.

Lebih kurang 13 tahun yang lalu ketika mula-mula berpindah ke Kuala Lumpur dan mencari rumah kediaman kami disarankan untuk mencari di Bukit Antarabangsa. Ia adalah sebuah kawasan yang cantik dan bersih. Memang betul pun. Bukit Antarabangsa sunyi dan sepi. Sememangnya kehijauan di tengah-tengah kota sehingga pemandu teksi sendiri takut untuk menghantar penumpang selepas jam 7 malam. Tiada apa di sini waktu itu. Hanya barisan rumah yang penghuninya keluar pagi mencari rezeki dan pulang untuk menikmati kesegaran bukit yang nyaman.

Sewaktu musim hujan nak pijak lantai rumah pun takut. Terlalu sejuk. Dahulu pasang kipas pun tak berani kalau hari hujan. Kabus menghiasi pandangan kami di awal pagi seperti berada di Cameron Highland atau Fraser’s Hill sehinggalah lebih kurang jam sepuluh pagi. Tiada Giant ataupun station Petronas. Tidak ada kedai runcit. Yang ada cuma sebuah kedai makan dan bistro milik keluarga arwah Seha di kawasan kediaman kami. Segala keperluan mesti dibeli sebelum pulang ke rumah. Sedikit demi sedikit keadaan berubah sehingga memaksa kami memasang penghawa dingin kerana tidak tahan panas apabila musim panas tiba serta cuaca terik. Kalau dulu di pejabat orang asyik kata malam tadi panas saya mengucap syukur sebab tak pasangpun kipas. Perubahan bentuk mukabumi di Bukit Antarabangsa berubah kerana gelojohnya manusia bukan kerana bencana alam yang melanda.

Itulah yang membezakan kita dengan negara-negara yang mengalami bencana alam yang dahsyat. Setelah Karakatoa meletup struktur kepulauan Indonesia berubah dan ada lagi gunung berapi yang kita tidak tahu bila masa akan meluahkan laharnya. Sedikit sebanyak fakta Karakatoa saya lampirkan di sini untuk bacaan bersama.

Setelah membaca sedikit fakta mengenai Karakatoa dan juga benua lain yang punah di landa bencana alam semulajadi, membuat saya terfikir kemanakah arah tuju kita dalam menangani pencemaran sendiri. Kejadian yang telah menimpa dan tidak akan kita tahu yang bakal menimpa adalah datangnya dari kita sendiri. Sungai-sungai di penuhi sampah sarap, pembuangan sisa-sisa toksid mengalir ke sungai lalu membunuh segala hidupan dan merbahaya kepada kesihatan. Di manakah hendak kita tunding jari? Siapakah yang memberi kelulusan begini?

Selama mana kita mahu menjadi masyarakat yang reactive dari proactive? Setiap slogan rumah di celah hutan tertulis keindahan semulajadi di tengah kota tapi itu bukan hakikatnya. Hakikat itu 20 tahun yang lalu di Bukit Antarabangsa. Pembangunan di buat tanpa memikirkan infrastruktur atau pasarana sesebuah kawasan. Laluan keluar masuk dan pertemuan jalan di laluan utama yang tidak sempurna menyebabkan kesesakan lalulintas. Rumah tumbuh bagai cendawan selepas hujan namun jalannya tidak di fikirkan, apakah ini tanda-tanda negara maju dalam fikiran? Apakah mungkin menghirup udara nyaman setelah segala hutan ditebang dan terus ditebang?

Sekali lagi saya hanya mampu meluah rasa di sini. Sedih yang teramat sangat apabila melihat pokok-pokok ditebang dan nak ketawa juga bila ada papan tanda tertulis “awasi tanda-tanda tanah runtuh” dan “senggara cerun anda” di pacak di kawasan sekitar oleh pihak JKR. Akan tetapi bersebelahan atau berdekatan dengan papan tanda ini terpacak pula papan tanda dari pihak Majlis Perbandaran yang mengatakan telah menerima permohonan pembangunan. Bantahan boleh di hantar kepada pihak yang berkenaan. Hmmm ada seribu tandatangan bantahan pun tetap dikorek dan akan terpacaklah besi-besi beberapa bulan kemudian.

Akhirnya saya bertanya adakah suara kita didengari oleh wakil-wakil yang ada?

Owned and written by : Sanaa 26/03/11

*****

The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa began in May 1883 and culminated with the destruction of Krakatoa in August 1883. Minor seismic activity continued to be reported until February 1884, though reports after October 1883 were later dismissed by Rogier Verbeek’s investigation.

In the years before the 1883 eruption, seismic activity around the volcano was intense, with some earthquakes felt as far as Australia. Beginning 20 May 1883, three months before the final explosion, steam venting began to occur regularly from Perbuatan, the northernmost of the island’s three cones. Eruptions of ash reached an altitude of 6 km (20,000 ft) and explosions could be heard in New Batavia (Jakarta) 160 km (99 mi) away. Activity died down by the end of May, with no records of activity until mid-June.

Eruptions started again around 16 June, when loud explosions were heard and a thick black cloud covered the islands for five days. On 24 June an east wind blew this cloud away and two ash columns were seen issuing from Krakatoa. The new seat of the eruption is believed to have been a new vent or vents which formed between Perbuatan and Danan, near the location of the volcanic cone of Anak Krakatau. The violence of the eruption caused tides in the vicinity to be unusually high, and ships at anchor had to be moored with chains as a result. Earthquake shocks began to be felt at Anyer (Java), and large pumice masses started to be reported by ships in the Indian Ocean to the west.

On 11 August, H.J.G. Ferzenaar investigated the islands. He noted three major ash columns (the newer from Danan), which obscured the western part of the island (the wind blows primarily from the east at this time of year), and steam plumes from at least eleven other vents, mostly between Danan and Rakata. Where he landed, he found an ash layer about 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in) thick; all vegetation had been destroyed, with only tree stumps left. He advised against any further landings. The next day, a ship passing to the north reported a new vent “only a few meters above sea level” (this may be the most northerly spot indicated on Ferzenaar’s map). Activity continued through mid August.

By 25 August, eruptions further intensified. At about 13:00 (local time) on 26 August, the volcano went into its paroxysmal phase, and by 14:00 observers could see a black cloud of ash 27 km (17 mi) high. At this point, the eruption was virtually continuous and explosions could be heard every ten minutes or so. Ships within 20 km (12 mi) of the volcano reported heavy ash fall, with pieces of hot pumice up to 10 cm (3.9 in) in diameter landing on their decks. A small tsunami hit the shores of Java and Sumatra some 40 km (25 mi) away between the time of 18:00 and 19:00 hours.

On 27 August four enormous explosions took place at 05:30, 06:44, 10:02, and 10:41 local time. The explosions were so violent that they were heard 3,500 km (2,200 mi) away in Perth, Western Australia and the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues near Mauritius, 4,800 km (3,000 mi) away, where they were thought to be cannonfire from a nearby ship.[1][2]:22 Each was accompanied by very large tsunamis, which are believed to have been over 30 meters (100 ft) high in places. A large area of the Sunda Strait and a number of places on the Sumatran coast were affected by pyroclastic flows from the volcano.

The pressure wave generated by the colossal final explosion radiated from Krakatoa at 1,086 km/h (675 mph).[3] It was so powerful that it shattered the eardrums of sailors on ships in the Sunda Strait[4] and caused a spike of more than two and half inches of mercury (ca 85 hPa) in pressure gauges attached to gasometers in the Jakarta gasworks, sending them off the scale.[5] The pressure wave radiated across the globe and was recorded on barographs all over the world, which continued to register it up to 5 days after the explosion. Barograph recordings show that the shockwave from the final explosion reverberated around the globe 7 times in total.[2] Ash was propelled to a height of 80 km (50 mi).

The eruptions diminished rapidly after that point, and by the morning of August 28 Krakatoa was silent. Small eruptions, mostly of mud, continued through October, though further reports continued through February 1884. These reports were discounted by Verbeek.

Around noon on August 27, a rain of hot ash fell around Ketimbang (now Katibung in Lampung Province) in Sumatra. Around a thousand people were killed, the only large number of victims killed by Krakatoa itself, and not the waves or after-effects.[6] Verbeek and later writers believe this unique event was a lateral blast or pyroclastic surge (similar to the catastrophic 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens), which crossed the water. The region of the ashfall ended to the northwest of Ketimbang, where the bulk of Sebesi Island offered protection from any horizontal surges.

The combined effects of pyroclastic flows, volcanic ashes and tsunamis had disastrous results in the region. There were no survivors from 3,000 people located at the island of Sebesi, about 13 km (8.1 mi) from Krakatoa. Pyroclastic flows killed around 1,000 people at Ketimbang on the coast of Sumatra some 40 km (25 mi) north from Krakatoa. The official death toll recorded by the Dutch authorities was 36,417, although some sources put the estimate at 120,000 or more. Many settlements were destroyed, including Teluk Betung and Ketimbang in Sumatra, and Sirik and Semarang in Java. The areas of Banten on Java and the Lampung on Sumatra were devastated. There are numerous documented reports of groups of human skeletons floating across the Indian Ocean on rafts of volcanic pumice and washing up on the east coast of Africa, up to a year after the eruption. Some land on Java was never repopulated; it reverted to jungle and is now the Ujung Kulon National Park.

Ships as far away as South Africa rocked as tsunamis hit them, and the bodies of victims were found floating in the ocean for weeks after the event. The tsunamis which accompanied the eruption are believed to have been caused by gigantic pyroclastic flows entering the sea; each of the four great explosions was accompanied by a massive pyroclastic flow resulting from the gravitational collapse of the eruption column. This caused several cubic kilometers of material to enter the sea, displacing an equally huge volume of seawater. The town of Merak was destroyed by a tsunami 46 m (151 ft) high. Some of the pyroclastic flows reached the Sumatran coast as much as 40 km (25 mi) away, having apparently moved across the water on a “cushion” of superheated steam. There are also indications of submarine pyroclastic flows reaching 15 km (9.3 mi) from the volcano.

A recent documentary film showed tests made by a research team at the University of Kiel, Germany, of pyroclastic flows moving over water. The tests revealed that hot ash travelled over the water on a cloud of superheated steam, continuing to be a pyroclastic flow after crossing water; the heavy matter precipitated out of the flow shortly after initial contact with the water, creating a tsunami due to the precipitate mass.

Smaller waves were recorded on tidal gauges as far away as the English Channel. These occurred too soon to be remnants of the initial tsunamis, and may have been caused by concussive air waves from the eruption. These air waves circled the globe several times and were still detectable using barographs five days later.

In the aftermath of the eruption, it was found that the island of Krakatoa had almost entirely disappeared, except for the southern half of Rakata cone cut off along a vertical cliff, leaving behind a 250-metre (820 ft) deep caldera. Of the northern two-thirds of the island, only a rocky islet named Bootsmansrots (‘Bosun’s Rock’, a fragment of Danan) was left; Poolsche Hoed had disappeared.

As a result of the huge amount of material deposited by the volcano, the surrounding ocean floor was drastically altered. It is estimated that as much as 18–21 km3 (4.3–5.0 cu mi) of ignimbrite was deposited over an area of 1,100,000 km2 (420,000 sq mi), largely filling the 30–40 m (98–130 ft) deep basin around the mountain. The land masses of Verlaten and Lang were increased, as was the western part of the remnant of Rakata. Much of this gained material quickly eroded away, but volcanic ash continues to be a significant part of the geological composition of these islands.

Two nearby sandbanks (called Steers and Calmeyer after the two naval officers who investigated them) were built up into islands by ashfall, but the sea later washed them away. Seawater on hot volcanic deposits on Steers and Calmeyer caused steam which some people mistook for continued eruption.

In the year following the eruption, average global temperatures fell by as much as 1.2 °C (2.2 °F). Weather patterns continued to be chaotic for years, and temperatures did not return to normal until 1888. The eruption injected an unusually large amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas high into the stratosphere which was subsequently transported by high-level winds all over the planet. This led to a global increase in sulfurous acid (H2SO3) concentration in high-level cirrus clouds. The resulting increase in cloud reflectivity (or albedo) would reflect more incoming light from the sun than usual, and cool the entire planet until the suspended sulfur fell to the ground as acid precipitation.

The dramatic skyline in Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893) is thought to be based on the global optical effects caused by the eruption and seen over Oslofjord, Norway.

The eruption darkened the sky worldwide for years afterwards, and produced spectacular sunsets throughout the world for many months. British artist William Ashcroft made thousands of colour sketches of the red sunsets half-way around the world from Krakatoa in the years after the eruption. In 2004, researchers proposed the idea that the blood-red sky shown in Edvard Munch’s famous 1893 painting The Scream is also an accurate depiction of the sky over Norway after the eruption. Munch said: “suddenly the sky turned blood red … I stood there shaking with fear and felt an endless scream passing through nature.” Also, a so-called blue moon had been seen for two years as a result of the eruption.

Weather watchers of the time tracked and mapped the effects on the sky. They labeled the phenomenon the “equatorial smoke stream.” This was the first identification of what is known today as the Jet stream.

This eruption also produced a Bishop’s Ring around the sun by day, and a volcanic purple light at twilight.

The fate of Krakatoa itself has been the subject of some dispute among geologists. It was originally proposed that the island had been blown apart by the force of the eruption. However, most of the material deposited by the volcano is clearly magmatic in origin and the caldera formed by the eruption is not extensively filled with deposits from the 1883 eruption. This indicates that the island subsided into an empty magma chamber at the end of the eruption sequence, rather than having been destroyed during the eruptions.

The main theories are:

* Contemporary investigators believed that the volcano’s vents had sunk below sea level on the morning of 27 August, letting seawater flood into it and causing a massive series of phreatic (interaction of ground water and magma) explosions.
* The seawater could have chilled the magma, causing it to crust over and producing a “pressure cooker” effect relieved only when explosive pressures were reached.

Both these ideas assumed that the island subsided before the explosions; however, the evidence does not support that conclusion and the pumice and ignimbrite deposits are not of a kind consistent with a magma-seawater interaction.

* A massive underwater land slump or partial subsidence suddenly left the highly pressurized magma chamber wide open.
* The final explosions may have been caused by magma mixing caused by a sudden infusion of hot basaltic magma into the cooler and lighter magma in the chamber below the volcano. This would have resulted in a rapid and unsustainable increase in pressure, leading to a cataclysmic explosion. Evidence for this theory is the existence of pumice consisting of light and dark material, the dark material being of much hotter origin. However, such material reportedly is less than 5% of the content of the Krakatoa ignimbrite and some investigators have rejected this as a prime cause of the 27 August explosions.

Although the violent engulfment phase of the eruption was over by late afternoon of August 27, after light returned by the 29th, reports continued for months that Krakatoa was still in eruption. One of the earliest duties of Verbeek’s committee was to determine if this was true and also verify reports of other volcanoes erupting on Java and Sumatra. In general, these were found to be false, and Verbeek discounted any claims of Krakatoa still erupting after mid-October as due to steaming of hot material, landslides due to heavy monsoon rains that season, and “hallucinations due to electrical activity” seen from a distance.

No signs of activity were seen in the next several years until 1913, when an eruption was reported. Investigation could find no evidence the volcano was awakening, and it was determined that what had been mistaken for renewed activity had actually been a major landslide (possibly the one which formed the second arc to Rakata’s cliff).

Examinations after 1930 of bathymetric charts made in 1919 show evidence of a bulge indicative of magma near the surface at the site that became Anak Krakatau.

*****

The Highland Towers collapse was an apartment building collapse that occurred on 11 December 1993 in Taman Hillview, Ulu Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. The collapse of Block One of the apartments caused the deaths of 48 people and led to the complete evacuation of the other two blocks due to safety concerns. On 11 December 2010, in collaboration with the seventeenth anniversary of the incident, AETN’s History Channel showed an hour-long documentary on the tragedy, with accounts from the victims, their families and former residents.

The Highland Towers consist of three 12-storey blocks, built in phases between 1977 and 1986 at the western base of a steeply sloped hill which was later terraced extensively in the early 1980s. Each block was respectively named:

* Block 1 (built 1978, southern-most)
* Block 2 (built 1981, north-northwest of block 1, slightly elevated than the other two, closer in to the hill)
* and Block 3 (built 1986, northwest of block 1, west of block 2).

A swimming pool was located between northwest side of Block 2 and northeast rear of Block 3. Block 1 collapsed when 10 continuous days of rainfall led to a landslide after the retaining wall behind the Tower’s car park failed.

The Highland Towers were once notorious in the 1980s and early 1990s for being a popular spot for the wealthy people to hide their mistresses.

Ten consecutive days of rainfall had led to the destabilization of the soil in the area. Later, it was revealed [by whom?] that another ongoing project behind the towers was the master cause of the collapse.

Behind the towers, there exists a small stream known as East Creek. East Creek was flowing right behind the towers, which was slightly diverted during the construction. Later, another housing development project behind the Towers had cleared the land of ground-covering plants such as trees and bushes, exposing the soil to absorb excessive water during the rain and led to erosion. The continuous rain further aggravated the situation.

The landslide occurred when the soil couldn’t hold any more water; it was so strong that its force was equivalent to 200 Boeing 747 jets crumbling down, and just enough to destroy the foundation of Block 1, causing it to fall. Also, the retaining wall located behind the Highland Towers was poorly constructed, and it was unable to withstand such a great force of the landslide. Bruce Sam Mitchell, a former US Marine that was living in Block 3 during the incident happened, when interviewed, said he saw the retaining wall disintegrating and mud gushing out seconds before Block One came crushing down. He took a few photographs of it then.

The official death toll released by the authorities was 48, though other sources gave a number greater than 55. The victims are mainly Malaysian, with 12 foreigners (a Briton, a Japanese, 2 Indians, 2 Koreans, 3 Filipino and 3 Indonesian).

* Rohana Bano Mushtak Ahmad, 29
* Mohammad Budi Abdullah @ Robin Williams Wharton, 44
* Mohammad Adam, 6 months
* The son of former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Musa Hitam, Carlos Rashid and his wife, Rosina Datuk Abu Bakar.
* Yap Kien Seng, 18.
* Korean woman, Jung Soon Bahk, 45, and her daughter Hee Won Bahk.
* Gene Koh Wai Keong, 15
* Brandon Koh Wai Kong, 6
* Daryl Koh Wai Kin, 3.
* Yap Maya May, 18.
* Yap’s mother – Wong Mee Thai, 35
* Douglas Ong Tee Ming, 17.
* Millie Lee, 55
* Ong Keong, 53
* Fatimah Abdul Majid, 66
* Che Mariam Abdul Majid, 76
* Noranira Mohamed Nor, 15
* Nik Mohamed Baharuddin, 41
* Shizue Nakajima, 50
* Dr Anne George,
* Debbie George
* Anne George
* Majnawiyah Masnawi, 25
* Amirah Nor Hamzah, 15

The consultant pathologist at the Forensic Branch of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood confirmed the death[who?] as “sudden death”.

* December 11, 1993: Block 1 of the Highland Towers collapses at 1.35 pm.
o 124 members of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and about 30 military personnel and engineers from Batu Cantonment Camp and Wardieburn Camp are deployed for search and rescue. Hundreds of policemen, firemen and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) rescue teams, Malaysian Red Cresent Council volunteers arrived earlier.
o Rescue team spots somebody waving a stick. A maid of one of the residents at Level 7, Umi Rashidah Khoruman, 22, and her daughter Nur Hamidah Najib, 18 months are found.
o Shizue Nakajima, 50, a Japanese women was also pulled from the debris but pronounced dead at 12 midnight in Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL). Dr Abdul Wahid from HKL Shahrum stated Nakajima suffered severe internal bleeding.
o Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and many cabinet ministers visit the site.

* December 12: Residents of Block B and C of Highland Towers are ordered to vacate their homes after declaring unsafe. Search and rescue teams from Singapore, France and Japan arrived in Malaysia to help. Nuri and Alouette helicopters from the RMAF were also despatched.

* December 13: A team from France with two rescue dogs joins the operation. They use heartbeat detectors to search for survivors and digs a 4.5 meter hole for access. A Committee Cabinet is established specifically to deal with problems relating to the Highland Towers tragedy.

* December 15: Rescuers find six bodies. Four are believed to be of two Koreans and two locals. Rescue teams decides to use machines to break concrete and steel as well as bulldozers to remove debris to open a route.

* December 16: Umi and Rashidah Nur Hamidah are released from HKL.

* December 17: The Cabinet Committee agrees to abandon rescue efforts.

* December 18: Rescue teams find six more bodies including one child.

* December 19: Rescue teams find three bodies. One of a woman, located about eight meters inside the parking area, was found at 7 p.m. The second body, also a woman, was found near the first body at 8.30 p.m. while the third, a man, was found at 10.15 p.m. the night.

* December 20: So far, 25 corpses, including one who embraced the Qur’an found in Level 12 are discovered. Also found were the remains of a woman wearing a sari and shielding a child.

* December 21: The police confirms that 48 bodies were recovered from the Highland Towers debris.

* December 22: The search is ended. Dr Nik Hassan Nik Ramlan is appointed chairman of the Technical Committee of Investigating the Highland Towers tragedy.

[edit] Legacy and recent history

In November 2002, almost nine years after the incident, a bungalow belonging to Affin Bank chairman General (Retired) Tan Sri Ismail Omar collapsed due to a landslide. It was located just metres away from the towers.

Later, on 6 December 2008, just five days short of the 15th anniversary of the incident, another landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa took place just 1.5 kilometres away from Highland Towers. The landslide buried 14 bungalows.

On 11 December 2004, in conjunction with the eleventh anniversary of the tragedy, all former residents and victims of the Highland Towers gathered at the site as a final farewell, after knowing that the property will be transferred to AmBank.

After the tragedy, The Highland Towers memorial stone was placed at the site of Block 1, but sadly it was a victim of much vandalism. Blocks 2 and 3 of the Highland Towers still stand today, although they are now almost completely overgrown by the dense jungle.[original research?]

In recent years, they have been the site of much vandalism and the buildings are now in almost complete disarray and ruin. In 1998, five years after the tragedy, a team from the Court in charge of the lawsuit visited the Towers and found out to be entirely stripped of its contents, leaving just a naked structure. Drug addicts take the abandoned apartments as a temporary shelter.[original research?] Rather eerie, the abandoned towers continue to loom out of the green density of the jungle, looking out over the Taman Hillview area.

The Highland Towers had been a popular source of haunted stories in the years thereafter, a result of the tragedy that took forty-eight lives.

There were plans to repair the two remaining blocks and re-occupy them back in 1995, but unfortunately, researches revealed that the blocks were no longer structurally safe and the only thing that could be done is demolish them.

Compiled by : Sanaa 26/03/11

6 Responses

  1. ungkapan menarik..

  2. tu la San.. klu kita tye siapa yg meluluskan.. kita nk kn tye lg.. siapa yg bg mandat..?? hihihi.. mau tak mau terima je lah.. bila naik sendat depa sumbat.. br la depa berenti kut.. tu lah harga sebuah Pembangunan kan.. pasti ada yg merana bila ada org lain nak senang.. smpai bl pun takkan jmpa penghujung.. mcm teman kata hr tu lh kn.. org awam ni sekadar boleh bersuara dan meluahkan rasa tp bl election nnt kita buang MANGKUK AYUN.. yg naik pun MANGKOK AYUN jgk… hihihi

  3. salam San..

    Agak2 nya bila dh jd mcm ni sape lah yang nak di salah kan.. PEMAJU je ke..?? PEMBELI mcm mn..?? klu tak dak permintaan takkan pemaju nak merakus.. nk kata tempat terhad pun…BUKIT BARU or BUKIT ******* tempat kita ni tak plk jd mcm tu.. agak nye glamournye tak de kut.. hihihi

    • wassalam Dee

      entahlah…masa I mula2 pindah kat sini dulu rumah yg runtuh dlm kejadian 2008 tiada penghuni. Hanya lima tahun sebelum kejadian barulah ada org masuk dan nampak di perindahkan. walaupun pemaju rakus kelulusan siapa pula yg beri. itulah sebabnya I kata sekadar meluahkan rasa kerana kalau sampai putus anak tekak pun depa juga yg merasa, kita hanya lihat sahaja…hehehe

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