Search

 

Cablegate: East Java Mudflow Update: Dam Collapse Inundates Highway,

VZCZCXRO4562
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0001 0040953
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040953Z JAN 08
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0134
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0062
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0120
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0060
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0137

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000001

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP,EB/ESC/IEC
DOE FOR CUTLER/PI-32 AND NAKANO/PI-42
COMMERCE FOR USDOC 4430

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EPET ENRG PGOV ASEC ID
SUBJECT: EAST JAVA MUDFLOW UPDATE: DAM COLLAPSE INUNDATES HIGHWAY,
DISPUTE STALLS REPAIRS

REF: SURABAYA 87 AND PREVIOUS

This message is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) Fears that a system of levees and dams
containing the mud flow at Sidoarjo could fail during the rainy
season were confirmed last night as heavy rains caused the
collapse of Dam 64. Local media report that water levels remain
nearly one meter high on the Porong Road bordering the mud
containment and motorists can expect delays of five or more
hours. A geologist from the Sidoarjo Mud Management Agency
(BPLS) told Congen Surabaya that the collapsed dam held back
only water, not mud, and the main mud containment was not
breached. However, repairs have yet to begin due to a blockade
staged by local workers demanding compensation for damages
sustained in the original 2006 mud flow disaster. BPLS
estimates that the toll road could be blocked sporadically into
next week if repairs are not made. .

2. (SBU) On January 3, at 10:15 PM water breached an
earthen dam near Ketapang village northwest of the mud flow
epicenter. A mix of water and mud flowed rapidly into an
already abandoned village and spread to the nearby Porong Road.
Handoko, a BPLS geologist told Congen Surabaya that existing
drainage systems were overburdened and flooding along the toll
road trapped dozens of vehicles for hours last night. The water
and mud mix flowing out of the breach is not part of the
volcanic mud flow but rather a combination of surface soil and
water, according to Handoko. However, when knee-high water also
crept into an inhabited village west of the toll road late last
night, hundreds of residents fled their homes fearing an
imminent dam collapse.

3. (SBU) Demands for compensation are hampering efforts
to repair the breach. According to Handoko, dozens of former
workers from PT. Osaka continue to block BPLS heavy equipment
from access to Dam 64. PT Osaka is a defunct rattan factory
once located close to the mud flow epicenter. PT Osaka has yet
to receive compensation for damages sustained during the initial
disaster in 2006 and hope their blockade will force payment.
Handoko learned that the Regent of Sidoarjo Win Hendrarso and
PT. Lapindo will try to persuade PT Osaka representatives to
call off their blockade.

4. (U) The mud flow disaster continues to serve as a
backdrop for national political theater. East Java Governor
Imam Utomo visited the flooded section of the Porong Road early
January 4. Appearing to point a finger at those responsible, he
phoned Nirwan Bakrie, President-Director of Bakrie Group while
standing in front of journalists at the flood site. Within
earshot of the media, the Governor then asked that Bakrie send a
water pump to the site immediately. Nirwan is a brother of
Aburizal Bakrie, now Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare.
Before divesting itself, the Bakrie Group once held a
controlling interest in Lapindo Brantas, a company widely
thought culpable for the mud flow disaster. Governor Utomo also
instructed the Chairman of BPLS and the Head of the Sidoarjo
Water and Public Works Department to clear the Porong Road of
water by Friday, January 4. Additional high level attention
might help flood relief efforts as the Minister of Energy and
Mineral Resources, Purnomo Yusgiantoro inspects the site on the
morning of January 5.

MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC