Posted by: Yosni Herin | March 9, 2010

Two killed, ship missing in Indonesia

Two killed, ship missing in Indonesia

Posted Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:00pm AEDT

Waves have swept holiday-makers off a beach in eastern Indonesia causing two people to drown and a small cargo ship was missing in high seas, an official and witnesses said.

“A huge wave came in suddenly while people were swimming at the beach. I heard people screaming for help but another policeman and I were dragged into the sea as well,” police officer Syamsul said.

He said he and his friend were saved but that the incident on Flores Island on Sunday (local time) killed two high-school students, as strong seas lashed islands across Indonesia’s east.

The local meteorology office warned of waves as high as six metres and winds of up to 50 kilometres per hour.

Joseph Lagadoni Herin, a Flores Island government official, said separately that he had received reports a small cargo ship had gone missing.

It had been expected to arrive in Flores from South Sulawesi, he said, but the number of crew on board the ship was not known.

“We are scouring the East Flores seas to search for the missing ship,” he said.

Torrential rains have inundated Indonesia’s main island of Java over the past week, killing scores of people in landslides and displacing thousands following floods.

High seas and wild weather are not unusual from December to February, when the rainy season hits a peak across the world’s fourth most populous nation.


Indonesian relief and rescue workers have used a helicopter and rubber boats to deliver aid and rescue people marooned on Java island after massive flooding triggered by days of torrential rain.

Nearly 100 people have died and thousands left homeless after the floods and a series of landslides buried houses in Central Java and East Java last week.

Rescue operations have been slow because of a blanket of mud, cutting off roads.

A shortage of heavy equipment has also hampered rescue operations in many areas where people have been forced to use bare hands to dig out the mud.

Rescuers have used excavators and water sprays to unearth the 6-7 metres of mud that covered the land in the Tawangmangu area, worst hit by the landslides, while thousands of villagers have pitched in with basic tools such as spades and hoes.

Tabrani, deputy head of the national disaster agency, said the agency had sent 40 rubber boats to East Java and Central Java to distribute food, medicines, clothes and clean water to isolated areas.

“It was caused by heavy rain for several days until today. Environmental factors also caused it, degradation is quite high, there is no more forest,” he said.

Hundreds of people who have lost their homes have been camping in government offices. Metro TV showed footage of residents sheltering in empty train compartments in Bojonegoro, East Java, after their houses were destroyed in floods.

Landslides and floods are frequent in Indonesia, where tropical downpours can quickly soak hillsides and years of deforestation often mean there is little vegetation to hold the soil.

Indonesia’s leading environmental group, Walhi, says ecological destruction caused by deforestation, land conversion and chaotic planning contributed to the disasters.



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