Thursday, April 14, 2005
Indonesian countrymen beg Indonesian President to sacrifice goats to prevent disasters such as volcano eruptions
A cataclysmic tsunami, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions have left more than 224,000 Indonesians dead or missing across Sumatra and surrounding islands.
Now, a chain SMS appeal has gone out in superstitious Indonesia warning that Jakarta would soon be hit by tsunamis or quakes and begging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to take action.
"Mr President, please sacrifice 1000 goats," the mysterious SMS pleaded.
But Mr Yudhoyono shook off the plea. "Even if I sacrificed 1000 goats, disasters in Indonesia will not end," the President said.
'We should bring ourselves closer to God and pray not not to be given more difficult tests."
Mr Yudhoyono said he had asked Indonesia's police chief General Da'i Bachtiar to investigate the source of the mysterious SMS appeal.
"It's not good," he said, adding that if there any warning of an earthquake or tsunami in Jakarta, it would be instantly broadcast through the media. "Don't be afraid," Mr Yudhoyono said.
He said all the quakes and eruptions could be explained scientifically by recent movements in the earth's crust.
"So don't make any superstition about them," Mr Yudhoyono said.
The quakes have steadily been moving south after a devastating magnitude 9.3 quake struck Aceh on Boxing Day.
And on Monday night, terrified villagers fled homes around Padang after the 2600m volcano Mt Talang erupted, spewing ash for more than a kilometre around its peak.