Monday, 31 December 2007

Piracy and tidal wave alerts, earthquakes, floods and landslides

Every day Hill and Associates give an update on events in Indonesia. 31 December was a typical day from tidal wave alerts to piracy alerts.


Earthquake Shakes Tual, Maluku

An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale shook Tual and Southeast Maluku in Maluku Province today, Monday 31 December at 2.11 am Eastern Indonesian Time (WIT), but claimed no lives. The epicenter was located 104 km northeast of Tual, at a depth of 45 km below sea level, according to information from the Ambon geophysics office. The intensity of the earthquake was relatively mild so it was barely felt by local residents who were asleep when it occurred. Tual was also hit by strong winds which uprooted a number of trees. Two moderate 5.5-maghnitude quakes struck western and eastern Indonesia on Sunday 30 December, but there was no threat of a tsunami and no immediate reports of damage, meteorologists said. The first hit at 10.36 am about 147 km offshore and southeast of the city of Gunungsitoli on Nias Island (west coast of Sumatra) at a depth of 60 km. The second hit about an hour later in the eastern province of Maluku about 340 km southeast of the provincial capital Ambon, at a depth of 125 km. (Sources: Antara | The Jakarta Post)

New Landslide As Search For Victims ContinuesA new landslide buried more than 30 homes at Tengklik village in Tawangmangu, Central Java at around 1:00 pm on Sunday 30 December as rescue workers continued searching for victims of earlier landslides and floods, an official said. There were no deaths or injuries but 177 people are displaced. The recent landslides and floods have killed at least 153 people in heavily populated Central and East Java after torrential rains lashed the region. Search teams were continuing to dig manually and use water to clear the mud to find victims. Rescuers have been hampered by a lack of heavy earth-moving
equipment as landslides, poor weather and large fallen trees hindered their progress. Bojonegoro in East Java and Blora and Cepu in Central Java remained underwater Sunday as Bengawan Solo River overflow had not yet subsided. Aid has been distributed to victims and floodwaters are reported to have started to subside today.

In Pandeglang, Banten, seven districts were submerged following torrential rain and strong winds brought down two high voltage towers in Depok, West Java. Meanwhile, storms hit Padang, West Sumatra, felling aged trees, injuring five locals and destroying cars and motorcycles. Heavy rains were also reported in Bali, Gorontalo, Jambi and North Sumatra. The Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI) is reported to have responded appropriately through the deployment of trained emergency response teams (SATGANA) and volunteers for assessment, evacuation, relief distribution, monitoring and reporting. (Source: AFP | The Jakarta Post | Xinhua | UNOCHA | International Federation of Red Cross | Antara | Kompas | Republika)
H&A Comment
Environmentalists blame excessive deforestation and logging for the landslides and floods as trees serve to fix soil and absorb rain. Local officials have said that unusually heavy rain this year has destabilised already vulnerable hilly areas. Landslides and flooding are common in Indonesia during the rainy season (December to February).


1.25 – 2.0 mWaters to the west of Aceh, the western part of Java Sea, the Sulawesi Sea, waters of the Sangihe Talaud, the Maluku Sea, the Halmahera Sea, the Seram Sea and waters to the north of Papua. Hazardous for fishing vessels.
2.0 – 3.0 mWaters to the west of North Sumatra, the Sunda Straits, the Sawu Sea, the Timor Sea and the southern part of Makassar Straits. Hazardous for fishing vessels, and motorised wooden vessels.
3.0 – 4.0 mWaters to the west of West Sumatra, the Karimata Straits, the eastern part of Java Sea, the Bali Sea, the Flores and Banda Seas. Hazardous for fishing vessels, motorised wooden vessels and ferries.
4.0m +Waters to the west of Bengkulu to Lampung, waters to the south of Java to West Nusa Tenggara, the Natuna and Arafuru Seas. Hazardous for ALL vessels.
(Source: BMG)

Bad Weather Alert
Bad weather has impacted traffic from the Merak seaport in Banten to Bakuheni in Lampung, causing congestion. Ferries are taking longer to berth and to sail. The Meteorology and Geophysics (BMG) Agency predicts that heavy rain and strong wind are likely to occur in parts of Indonesia on New Year’s Eve. Heavy rain may fall in East and West Nusa Tenggara, Bengkulu, Lampung, South Kalimantan and South Sulawesi. Meanwhile, waves 3-4 meter in height are expected off West Sumatra, Lampung, East Java and the Banten Straits. BMG official warn that beaches should be avoided this week. (Sources: Kompas | Media Indonesia)


Emergency Landing Due To Cockpit Glass Fracture
A PT Express Air Boeing 737-200 en route Jakarta-Jayapura (Papua) made an emergency landing at the Juanda airport in Surabaya on Sunday 29 December after a crack was found in the cockpit glass. There were no reports of injuries. Officials are investigating. (Source: Kompas)

N/AIndonesiaNo specific recent events reported but mariners are warned to be extra cautious and to take necessary precautionary measures when transiting the following areas: Balongan, Balikpapan, Belawan, Tanjong Priok (Jakarta). Generally be vigilant in other areas. Attacks may have gone unreported.
N/AMalacca StraitsThough the number of attacks has dropped due to the increase and constant patrols by the littoral states’ relevant authorities since July 2005, ships are advised to continue maintaining a strict anti piracy watch when transiting the straits.
(Source: International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre)

City Preparing For New Year's Eve
Police officers have set up a security coordination centre in Blok M, South Jakarta, on Friday. City police have started setting up security centres in more than 600 locations across Jakarta in preparation for New Year's Eve. With millions of people expected to crowd entertainment centres in Jakarta on New Year's Eve, the city administration and the police are preparing to deploy more than 17,000 officers in an effort to step up security and manage traffic in the capital. Police will intensify security in entertainment parks, shopping malls, train stations, bus stations, the Soekarno-Hatta international airport and other public places, Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Adang Firman said. To celebrate the New Year, the city administration has organised festivities at the National Monument in Central Jakarta; Ancol Amusement Park in North Jakarta; and Taman Mini Indonesia Park in East Jakarta. "This is to prevent heavy traffic congestion in those areas," Governor Fauzi Bowo said. From the total 681 entertainment hubs holding New Year's Eve parties, the police would prioritize the National Monument and Ancol, according to the Jakarta Police Traffic Management Centre.


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