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Mudflow scatters villagers in East Java SIDOARJO - Three weeks of an unceasing, foul- smelling mudflow from a gas well accident have uprooted more locals in Porong district of East Java province and forced them to shelter in cramped markets, schools and government offices. On Sunday, more than 3,800 residents from the four worst-hit villages near Sidoarjo were staying at newly built Pasar Baru Porong market, which was scheduled to begin operation in July. Others are camped out in school buildings, offices and local mosques, local newspaper the Jakarta Post daily reported on Monday.

The stench of the steaming mudflow that began May 29 has sickened hundreds of people, disrupted goods traffic to the nearby East Java capital of Surabaya and brought some factories to a standstill. Siring village chief Pain Ghozali said their homes were flooded by the mud. "They prefer to flee to safety by bringing along their valuables due to the fear the mudflow will increase," he said. Other villagers are staying with relatives in Surabaya or other cities.

He urged gas exploration company PT Lapindo Brantas Inc., which owns the well, to pay attention to the plight of displaced locals, who were running short of food and clean water. Indonesian former president Abdurrahman Wahid prayed with the people Sunday, and asked them to be calm and level-headed in facing the problem. He also urged Lapindo to take responsibility for the incident, including providing compensation to locals while working to stop the mudflow.

Meanwhile, East Java Governor Imam Utomo said the provincial administration would not use its own funds to assist the residents. "The provincial administration will not spend money from the budget," he said. "All the financial losses experienced by residents and others should be covered by Lapindo Brantas Inc." The mudflow, which has swamped dozens of hectares of rice fields and stopped the operation of at least 13 companies in its vicinity, continued its spread Sunday.

Massive traffic congestion remained on the two-lane Surabaya- Gempol turnpike, with one lane closed. It also crept closer to the Surabaya-Malang-Banyuwangi railway track, reaching within 150 meters Sunday from a distance of 300 meters the day before. Spokesman of state railway company PT KAI in Surabaya city, Sudarsono, said Sunday it would set up a monitoring post, but there was not much else it could do. "We don't know how to deal with this. Constructing a dam is not effective to stop the flow so we're just monitoring the situation, " he added.



Posted in Sidoarjo mudflow @ 20 June 2006 11:50 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





Yerun
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What a complete mess it should be there. Emoticon:



Yerun
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User icon of Yerun
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What a complete mess it should be there. Emoticon:



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