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Journal Articles Natural Hazards Year : 2024

Deadliest natural disaster in Balinese history in November 1815 revealed by Western and Indonesian written sources

Abstract

In November 1815, the deadliest “natural” disaster in Balinese history was caused by the exceptional combination of multiple natural hazards that occurred simultaneously and cascaded in the present-day province of Buleleng. This major disaster, which is thought to have claimed more than 10,000 lives, has never been scientifically analyzed. The study conducts an in-depth analysis of this cascading disaster, from the root causes and chronology of natural hazards to their environmental and societal effects, by thoroughly examining all available written sources about this event, whether colonial or Indonesian. Seven months after the Tambora eruption, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake, which occurred in the Bali Sea off the northern coast of the island, triggered a very large landslide on the northern flank of the Buyan-Bratan caldera. The initial mass movement evolved into a cohesive debris flow that reached the sea after traveling up to twenty kilometers through Banyumala River Valley and Singaraja City downstream. According to historical accounts, fifteen villages were buried or devastated by the debris flow. The large volume of sediment entering the sea triggered a local tsunami along Buleleng’s coast. This geohistorical approach offers a comprehensive overview of various sources describing Singaraja’s situation before the crisis, the hazard succession, the cascading hazard intensities, and the short- to long-term impacts on Buleleng. Based on the written sources, Bali took around fifteen years to recover from the 1815 disasters.
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Dates and versions

hal-04619223 , version 1 (20-06-2024)

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Audrey Faral, Franck Lavigne, Wayan Jarrah Sastrawan, I Gede Putu Eka Suryana, Alicia Schrikker, et al.. Deadliest natural disaster in Balinese history in November 1815 revealed by Western and Indonesian written sources. Natural Hazards, 2024, ⟨10.1007/s11069-024-06671-5⟩. ⟨hal-04619223⟩
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