Animal Signs of Natural Disaster (Part I)

By : Desie Arumsari

cartoon tsunami++

Animal naturally closer to the nature than human being. Nature is being their place of living. Even when the animal becomes a pet, living in a house with human, they still have great connection to the nature.

As we know that recently we have seen many natural disasters. Flood, landslide, earthquake, tsunami, storm, tornado can kill human being and cause many of lost. Experience prove that animal instinct really great in detect those natural disasters. We as human being can pay attention to the animal presence or signs about this. Becoming aware could reduce the risks from natural disaster, including saving our live.

Here I share my experience and also others experience in many areas that survived from natural disaster by only watching the sign given by the animals to us.


In Jakarta and many other metropolitan cities in the world, the price of a house is quite expensive than a flat or apartment. That’s why many people choose to live in a flat or apartment for economic reason. As a fast growing city, every year, apartment just made higher and higher. For safety and comfort reason, management of flat or apartment usually make training of evacuation from fire accident or earthquake. This is quite effective to reduce the risk of lives. But, for people who live in higher flat or apartment, evacuation need a longer time than the people who live in lower flat/apartment.

lele di kolam

For those who live in apartment, they should consider raising some catfish (in a pond or simple aquarium) in apartment. Catfish can detect an earthquake before the news from TV or radio mentions it. They will move very active, splash the water everywhere when an earthquake happen near or quite far from your living place, even you live in very high apartment. This will save your time to evacuate immediately, from your high apartment to the land or street near.

For this beneficial reason, catfish become number one fish to have for people who live in apartment or flat in Japan.


Another interesting story happen to my friend. He and his family live in Bintan Island (Riau Island Province), that is in Tanjung Pinang City. He has an arwana fish on an aquarium. The arwana color is red. Two days before the West Sumatra (Padang & Pariaman City) earthquake 30 September 2009, his arwana just becoming so weird. It is moving from its aquarium corner fast forward for a whole day. It color also change in to green. One day before the earthquake, the arwana just become like a sick fish, so weak.

red arwana

As we know that the distance between West Sumatra & Bintan Island is so far, different province, different island and need a plane or ship to catch each other. Even the distance so far, but seems this arwana fish just realize what happen under the ground, the moving big activities down below the earth. That’s why this fish have a very level of stress and change its color.

Two days after the earthquake, the arwana skin just return into red-green color. 5 days after the earthquake, the skin just normal in red color and it’s not weak anymore and become a normal healthy fish.


1883 Krakatau volcano erupted. More than 36 thousand human are dead. This is the biggest volcano eruption in modern time. A little thing happened and interest some researchers. Before the eruption, there’s a small circus in Lampung. Lampung is a city in South Sumatera, across the Krakatau Island. In the middle of August, a week before the eruption, a small elephant in the circus rage violently. It run to every places and hit everywhere without no one knows what make it so angry. This little elephant already knew the friction movements of two tectonic plates bellow the Krakatau volcano. This friction and movement activate the volcano and make it eruption on August 27th 1883.

Elephant african+

Another story about elephant.

26th December 2004, a tsunami hit South East Asia. There’s a huge scale of earthquake in Aceh Sea, suddenly after that, tsunami hit the coastal of many islands, many countries and cause the dead of hundred thousand lives. There’s a village in coastal of Thailand. There, a little girl ride an elephant in her holiday. She has many times come to the coast and also many times ride the same elephant. When the tsunami want to hit this coastal village, the elephant suddenly run out from the beach so hurry. Make this little girl afraid and the guarding man also run very vast following his elephant. They’re all running to the hill near from the coast. At the top of the hill they saw that a huge wave strike the coast. The elephant, the girl and the guarding man were saved. They deeply thank the elephant for saving their lives.


This is a research by an animal observer in America. Watch the local newspaper of lost pet dog news. Everyday, usually only 5% pet dog lost. If suddenly there are 20-30% pet dog lost in newspaper, it will make sure that there will come a natural disaster for  1–3 next day. Seems that the pet dogs just know before it happen, so than they choose to run away from their owner.


Ini merupakan riset oleh seorang pengamat hewan peliharaan di Amerika. Perhatikan berita atau pengumuman kehilangan hewan di Koran. Rata-rata tiap hari hanya 5% pemilik kehilangan anjing peliharaan mereka. Bila tiba-tiba berita atau pengumuman kehilangan ini melonjak hingga 20-30%, dipastikan akan datang sebuah bencana alam dalam waktu satu hingga tiga hari ke depan. Sepertinya anjing-anjing itu sudah tahu sebelumnya, kemudian kabur dari pemiliknya untuk menyelamatkan diri.


A group of tourist visit a little beautiful island in Thailand. They rent a boat and a professional scuba diving to guide them dive on the sea around the island. They went by the boat on early morning. Then they arrived on the point they wanted to dive. They prepared their equipment and ready to dive. But suddenly a group of dolphins come in front of their boats. The tourists were happy to see these dolphins. But then they realized that the dolphins act weird. All the dolphins scream loudly. One of the tourist catch the dolphins sign. The dolphins want them to be followed. The boat than move followed the dolphins. They bring their boat more far away from the island. Couple hours after that, they bring the boat return the island. Than they realized that they’ve been saved by the dolphins. They saw that the beach shore and the hotel they stay just vanish by the tsunami wave on 2006.



Watch this animal around our living place, for their scale numbers. Normally dragonfly rare flies around our living place except on the river or lake environment. If suddently they fly with so many amounts in our living place, they just sign us that the water level will increase soon. Whether the increasing of water river or sea water, which the dangerous of this effect is: flood.



Birds give so many signs to human. They become best friend and human savior not only on big scale of natural disaster, but also in to the little things on human living activities. I try to watch their presence and their song on daily life. Realize that birds have saves many lives and giving many signs on our live, better we’re not hunt them and kill them. They become our best alarm in our living place, even we live in a big city.

Some signs from the birds:

  • Several days before my neighbour death, a bird flew around our environment. It is whistle, although just 5 10 minutes at afternoon or evening, for certain days. And next, an old neighbour passed away.
  • My Grandmother & grandfather village is not in the town, in Central Java. When i was Elementary School, my parent had to move the worked in Nusa Tenggara Timur province (NTT). Since we moved there, the long distance and expensive for the transportation, so we never visitied our grandmother & grandfather for few years. One day, finally we can got holiday to Java visitied our grandmother & grandfather. Grandmother & grandfather was very old and never travelling out their village. So surprised them without inform them previously. Two days before we arrived in at grandmother grandfather house, a bird has given sign to grandmother & grandfather. That bird whistle flying at the house roof. One believe in that village is the people there trust that kind of bird just giving sign about the family or relative will come to visit them. One day after that, we arrived at grandmother & grandfather house. They’re happy and knew that we’ll come to visit them because the bird has wistle to them.
  • 19th October 1987 The Bintaro’s tragedies. A tragic accident among two trains which locations at Bintaro, Jakarta. This accident killed more than 130 persons. My cousin was at one of the train. She saved without any hurt. And one memory she won’t be forget. Before the accident, she is at 3rd wagon (from the last wagon) of the train. The train went from Tanah Abang to Bintaro. At the jorney, she just felt sleepy. But suddenly she heard men yelled, “Hi hi, see!! Lovely bird … so pretty!!”. Some passengers at wagon amazed with the colorful-lovely bird that never know where it came. That pretty bird flew to the next wagon to the last wagon. The passagers who run to see & followed the birds. Than, They’re stunned because the train was stop because hit something. They heard crash sound and felt a shock. The train was rolled, but last wagon were not. My cousin and passengers at the last wagon were save. if they did not follow that lovely bird, they could be killed. Thirteen years then, in an activity, I knew a man. He’s age 10 years older than me. Because we became close like family, i called him uncle. One day he told me that he ever saved by a bird. I ask, where about and when its happening? Apparently, my uncle was the first passager that realize the presence of the beautiful bird on the train, in Bintaro accident. He is the one whose yelling: a bird, a beautiful bird. Both of my new uncle and my cousin at same wagon, the last wagon and their both safe.

  • 27th March 2009. It’s disaster of the collapse of huge reservoir Situ Gintung at Tangerang, Banten. Situ Gintung was an artificial reservoir which also to patch the rain water and reservoir the paddyfield. Builted in year 1932-1933, with 31 ha. Since 1970’s, the reservoir function grow. For natural tour place, a restaurant was buitd, also swiming pool and outbond’s place. My home location far from Situ Gintung, neighbour province. I live in East Jakarta. One week before disaster, a bird came in a full a week. Bird whistle at night in our housing area. Me and family not surprise. We realize the bird just sign us something. One of our neighbour also realise the presence of the bird, we’re all just wait what will happen. We keep watched news at TV and radio. Until one full week, in the early morning aroud 4Am, a news surprises us. The huge reservoir Situ Gintung collapse and hit all surrounding area. Dead victim minimum 99 persons. The reservoir water as much as 2,1 million cubic meter break down from the wall and cleaning out whatever under it, included housings, factory foods, school and other buildings. Since then, seems the government check and fixs another reservoir to prevent this kind of disaster happen again.

  • Tasikmalaya’s earthquake 2 September 2009. As I explain in advance that my home is at East Jakarta, very far from Tasikmalaya, West Java. A month before the disaster. One bird came in our housing area. It came routinous once in every couple days. In the evening, night and midnight. We realize the presence of the bird. Until two weeks no news related at this moment. There was also other thing got my attention. Almost every family at my environment who had, little children or baby,  those babies were ill. It could be fever or flu. I investigate farther of my friends which locations far-away from me. The same result. My friends in Java & Bali whose have little children or baby, those children got fever (even dengue, typhus), flu & cough. We more aware with this. We began to speak with neighbours who can understand this matter. They’re also certain something will happen related to disaster from this nature signs. Than, full a month since the early presence of the bird, a huge scale of  earthquake (7.2SR) hit the sea near Tasikmalaya (city upon mountain) and the earthquake vibration felt at all Java and Bali. There’re more than 60 victims died at whole West Java. Still until now, some people burried under the hills which landslide at Cianjur region. The landslide was the  effect of earthquake.
  • Other thing happened to my brother. His office is in Bekasi, West java. Around 90 minutes minutes by motorbike or car to get from East Jakarta. Ten minutes before the earthquake, a couple of birds entered his office. Seems to that little birds loss their navigations. They smash the wall and office glasses. With his friend, my brother got those birds out from the office. After that, they felt the earthquake shaking them


Most of us think how we know these animals signs, meanwhile we never know their language. Birds, elephant, dolphin & others, give signs with their own ways. Our language must be different, but we could understand the meaning of their languange. Natural law says: if we give attention in to something, must be it will turn back to react, give their attention to us. Therefore if we begin to aware of the animal presence around us, our energy, our attention, our love, to share to them, they will accept. Naturally, they are connected with us. So, be ready to receive their signs.

Learning from this, we need to realize that as human as we can’t break the connection with the nature. Just sufficiently if only have relation with human beings. Man just a little part of nature. Animals, plants,  water, river, sea, cloud, soil, mountain all part of nature, part of us, bound in a related chain in life ecosystem, life balance chain on the earth. Care and love we give to all this nature parts.

* * *

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