Babi Island (Flores)

Babi Island (Flores)


Babi Island (Indonesian: Pulau Babi, literally Pig Island) is an island located off the coast of Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. The 1992 Flores earthquake and resulting tsunamis are estimated to have killed 263 to 700 residents of the island, with most of the destruction on the southern end of the island.



Babi is a roughly circular island[1] less than 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi) in diameter located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the north of Flores. Its maximum height above sea level is 351 metres (1,152 ft).[2] Its north end is bordered by a wide coral reef and faces the Flores Sea. Further south there is a small tidal flat where two villages were built, the majority-Christian Pagaraman to the east and majority-Muslim Kampungbaru to the west. At the southern end of the island, the barrier reef tapers.[3] It is administratively part of Sikka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara.[4]


On 12 December 1992, an earthquake occurred near Flores at 5:29 a.m. local time (UTC+8).[5] Within three minutes, at least one tsunami approached Babi Island[3] from the direction of the earthquake’s epicenter to the north, while a second may have hit the southwest side of the island after refracting around the southern side. The tsunami waves reached a height of 7.2 metres (24 ft);[6] this was “unexpectedly large”.[1] Between 263[6] and 700[5] of the island’s 1,093 inhabitants were killed[6] and both villages were completely destroyed.[7]


Babi is home to many diving sites. One, called The Crack, was formed during the 1992 earthquake. Located in a reef 20 metres (66 ft) below the water, the 70-centimetre (28 in) crack reaches a length of 30 metres (98 ft). Numerous forms of aquatic life, including eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, and spider crabs can be found there.

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