20 – 20 – 20


A jargon 20 – 20 – 20 was initiated by the researcher team of Waves Jave and the Local Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) of Pacitan due to preparedness of local community towards earthquake and tsunami. Based on a research in Pacitan District, the jargon 20 – 20 – 20 has been socialized widely to the local community. BPBD Pacitan and its stakeholders take a lead in socializing the jargon.

BPBD Pacitan keeps socializing the jargon 20 – 20 – 20. The jargon means 20 seconds, 20 minutes and 20 meters. It indicates if an earthquake occurs for 20 seconds, local people has 20 minutes to evacuate to higher places with the height of 20 meters. BPBD Pacitan and its stakeholders invite the local people to prepare and put it in their mind the jargon.

The researcher team to the local authority proposed some approaches. Besides the jargon, the team recommended to conduct socialization through different media as education approach such as using video, song, folk, or even survey. A song can be created so that knowledge and awareness adhere in the local people. Such a song was created due to potential hazard of tsunami.


Tsunami datang dengan tanda-tanda (Tsunami comes with signs)

Tanda yang pertama terjadi gempa (The first sign is an earthquake)

Disusul dengan air laut yang surut (Followed by low tide)

Itu pertanda tsunami (it signs tsunami coming soon)

 20 detik bumi berguncang (20 seconds earthquake shakes)

20 menit tuk evakuasi (20 minutes to evacuate)

20 meter ke tempat yang tinggi (evacuate to a place with height of 20 meters)

 Lakukan seperti ini (Do like that)

Dan percayalah kita kan selamat (And you will be safe)


Besides socializing the jargon, BPBD also put information boards about evacuation direction and tsunami zone as well simulation exercise in term of building awareness among the local people.

Prone to Earthquake and Tsunami

Pacitan is a district located in the southwestern of East Java Province. Some districts are around Pacitan, i.e. Wonogiri, Ponorogo, and Trenggalek, whereas Indian Ocean is in the south. The area of Pacitan is about 1.342 km2 with mountainous and rocky covers. Pacitan is one of 136 districts and cities with medium to high disaster risk index. According to historical record, a big earthquake with magnitude 7,5 once hit Pacitan in 1859. At that time, the earthquake cause minor tsunami. Afterwards in 1937, an earthquake with magnitude 7,2 stroke Pacitan again, which measured its intensity VII up to IX MMI.

Related with potential hazards in Pacitan, the researcher team of Waves Java that consisted of Birgham Young University (BYU), Pembangunan Nasional Veteran University (UPN), Utah Valley University and Geoscientist Without Borders has conducted a research about ancient tsunami deposit and forecasting tsunami. The research that was involved the local authority not only focused on the research but also built mitigation effort based on local community in order to save lives. The researcher reminds that the past is a key to the present and the future.

Based on the research, there has been no big earthquake for 111 years after Krakatoa erupted. It has become a concern to the researcher that Pacitan with ten times increased population has potential hazards of earthquake and tsunami. Death toll due to earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia within a period of 1500 – 2000 killed 50.000 people whereas within a period of 2000 – 2012 killed 280.000 people.

pacitanWe do not want a catastrophe, like what happened in Aceh tsunami (2004), repeat again towards unprepared community about tsunami. Professor Ron Harris from BYU and Professor Prasetyadi (UPN) once wrote a scientific paper at BYU website about seismic gaps which is dangerous in Indonesia. In the paper it was mentioned that an earthquake potentially occurred in dense population in western part of Sumatera along 1.600 km. During the time, they wrote that the potential area had not experienced in elapsing significant energy for 130 – 150 years, and it would trigger potential earthquake with magnitude 8,5.


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