When people's lives are at risk, it's always better to err on the safe side of risky situations. While it may hinder production and interfere with the norm briefly, making sure people are safe is always priority one for a government. It's better to deal with people who are angry they were held up for a while during their normal day than to deal with grieving families asking why more wasn't done to keep their loved ones safe.
Yes, Indonesia should have waited longer to lift the tsunami warning. Countries should always exercise the utmost caution in times of natural disaster. There is always that small chance that something unlikely will happen. Therefore, we should always be prepared. It is much worse to be prepared and have nothing happen, than to have something terrible happen.
One cannot put life on hold for fear of every natural disaster. The tsunami passed, and officials are correct in lifting the warning accordingly. However, people need to have an emergency plan in place, since earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters occur frequently in Asia. People may be encouraged or choose to move away from shores and hilly dangerous terrain - mud slides are brutal. The government should have emergency plans for each type of disaster - each disaster must be managed in its own way A relief fund and aid from neighbors are two initiatives which could save lives for people in disasters. Governments need to act quickly when disasters strike.
Geological evidence of past tsunamis suggest that the segment of the Sunda megathrust that lies off Padang, a city of one million on Sumatra's west coast, may be overdue for an earthquake. Government officials in Indonesia and Padang are aware of the risk. Government officials in Indonesia and Padang should be aware of the risk.