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Cycle 5 (2015 Deadline)

Incorporating climate change induced sea level rise information into coastal cities’ preparedness toward coastal hazards

PI: Syamsidik (, Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center, Syiah Kuala University
U.S. Partner: Louise K. Comfort, University of Pittsburgh
Project Dates: December 2016 - November 2020

Project Overview

Research has not yet identified all the impacts of climate changes on island nations like Indonesia. One of the challenges is the complexity of the available data in Indonesia. This project is aimed at combining two sets of processes—climate change-induced sea level rise and coastal hazards (coastal erosion, tsunami, and coastal flooding)—using three projected periods (30, 50, and 100 years). Climate change-induced sea level rise coupled with coastal hazards is a rarely studied topic in Indonesia. Dr. Syamsidik and his team expect that the project should produce newly developed scenarios for assessing impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise in Indonesia’s coastal cities, combining information on sea level rise (a slow process) and coastal hazards (a relatively fast process). Their work will also incorporate scientifically based policy analysis of urban development planning in order to increase the preparedness of cities in the region. In addition, this research will compare the projected impacts of sea level rise coupled with coastal hazards between two coastal cities representing the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere of Indonesia. The impact comparisons will highlight variations resulting from geographical differences. This research will also offer examples for incorporating scientific evidence on climate change and coastal hazard impacts with techno-social approaches for disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation.

U.S. partner Dr. Comfort will assist this research team with her expertise in analyzing development planning policies. Her techno-social approach will a valuable resource for the Indonesian team. To gather input and disseminate their findings, Dr. Syamsidik and his colleagues will organize several forums for stakeholders from the national and local levels. Two policy briefings will be made to address the issue of climate change impacts and their incorporation into development planning for coastal cities in Indonesia. This research team will also produce inputs for improving university-level instruction in courses involving climate change and disaster management. Lessons learned from this research process will be used in revising the relevant course curricula at Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh and Mataram University in Mataram.

Summary of Recent Activities

5-395 Coastal Monitoring5-395 Banda Aceh Survey
The team conducted a series of activities in Banda Aceh including resident surveys and coastal dynamic monitoring (photos courtesy of Dr. Syamsidik)
There were three main activities on this project during the first three months of 2020. First, the PI and his team prepared printed copies of their Document for Banda Aceh Mitigation Strategies of Impacts of Sea Level Rise. The electronic file of the document has also been uploaded on an official website of the Banda Aceh City Planning and Development Agency. Second, Dr. Syamsidik spent most of February as a visiting scholar at Brunel University London, during which he completed two papers that have been published by international journals and posted online. Third, he submitted another paper to an international journal for publication. It is currently under review with the results expected by the end of May.

Several other planned activities had to be postponed due to the current coronavirus pandemic, including a field visit to Ambon for final clarification of the city's preparedness for coastal hazards coupled with impacts of sea level rise. Also postponed is the release of the Mataram Document for Mitigation Strategies of Impacts of Coastal Hazards Coupled with Impacts of Sea Level Rise. In the meantime, the PI and his colleagues are working from home on writing papers and other project documentation. Once the pandemic situation is resolved and social distancing requirements in Indonesia can be relaxed, they will reschedule the final planned activities and complete procurement of a piece of equipment for their lab. Additional papers and a book will also be published.

Useful Links

"The 22 December 2018 Mount Anak Krakatau volcanogenic tsunami on Sunda Strait coasts, Indonesia: tsunami and damage characteristics," in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (available at

"Shallow crustal earthquake models, damage, and loss predictions in Banda Aceh, Indonesia," in Geoenvironmental Disasters (available at

"Measuring coastal cities' resilience toward coastal hazards: Instrument development and validation," in Progress in Disaster Science, Volume 5, 2020 (available at  

“Assessing the tsunami mitigation effectiveness of a planned Banda Aceh Outer Ring Road (BORR), Indonesia," in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (available at

"Post-tsunami survey of the 28 September 2018 tsunami near Palu Bay in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia: Impacts and challenges to coastal communities," in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Elsevier, Volume 38, 2019 (available at

The team's brief reports on the Sunda Strait Tsunami of December 2018 are available through the links below:

Recent media coverage and reports posted at the TDMRC website may be accessed below:
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