Monday, January 16, 2012

Floods take toll, slow down logistics, Indonesia

Incessant rain in several regencies in Banten province over the past three days has triggered floods and landslides, leaving not only three people dead and more than 13,000 homes inundated, but also hampering the flow of goods from Sumatra to Java and vice versa, an agency said on Sunday.

The Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a press statement that residents in Lebak, Pandeglang, Serang, Serang mayoralty, Cilegon mayoralty and Tangerang had to deal with floods of up to five meters deep, while a landslide also struck in Lebak regency.

He said that the Banten floods had affected the Jakarta–Merak toll road at kilometer 58 and 59, forcing a reroute of traffic causing traffic jams as long as 35 kilometers.

“Based on our observation, the floodwater is still more than one meter deep making the road impassable to trucks,” Suharno, an official with toll road operator PT Marga Mandala Sakti, told The Jakarta Post by telephone on Sunday, confirming the BNPB information.

The toll road operator diverted vehicles going from Jakarta to Merak through the Serang Timur exit gate and along Serang’s arterial route to reenter the toll road at the Balaraja Barat gate because of the flooding.

Meanwhile, vehicles from Merak port in Banten heading to Jakarta were instructed to take the opposite diverted route, Suharno said. Read More