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Cablegate: East Java Mud Flow Update: More Dikes Collapse, Geysers

VZCZCXRO4688
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0018 0421123
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111123Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0154
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0076
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 0013
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0141
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0022
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0159
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0074

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000018

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, EB/ESC/IEC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EPET ENRG PGOV ASEC ID
SUBJECT: EAST JAVA MUD FLOW UPDATE: MORE DIKES COLLAPSE, GEYSERS
PROLIFERATE, WHILE DEMONSTRATIONS MAR RELOCATION

REF: A. SURABAYA 17 (GEYSERS)

B. SURABAYA 01 (DAM COLLAPSE)

This message is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) Geysers caused by ongoing subsidence, rainy season
flooding and demonstrations fueled by popular discontent are
taxing the ability of the Sidoarjo Mud Management Agency to cope
with the continuing disaster. Two earthen dikes collapsed on
February 10, flooding two villages with mud and water.
Additional geysers and flammable hydrogen sulfide gas have
emerged in several villages surrounding the mud epicenter.
Protests by some 3,000 residents over a resettlement scheme show
that dissatisfaction over handling of the mudflow disaster has
not abated anymore than the mud flow itself.

Dams Collapse
-------------------

2. (SBU) BPLS Engineer Mr. Handoko Teguh corroborated to ConGen
Surabaya local media reports that Dikes 40 and 41 in Besuki
village collapsed on February 10 following heavy rains, leaving
a breach 15 meters wide. Muddy water reached one meter high and
rushed into the village, flooding 100 houses. Roughly 1,000
people fled Besuki to seek temporary shelter. Most went to the
Porong Market and Police Station while still others sought
shelter under an overpass once used by the now defunct toll
road. Teguh said that BPLS has already fixed Dike 40,
preventing further flooding, and repairs continue on Dike 41.
Teguh said that BPLS is "on alert 24 hours a day and we
anticipate possibly heavy rains in the area in the coming days.
Frankly speaking we are worried about the impact of heavy
rains." Seasonal heavy rains have been hitting Sidoarjo and
Porong for the past week.

Geysers and Gas Threaten Infrastructure Relocation, Protests
Continue
--------------------------------------------- --------------
-------------

3. (U) Local media reported some 50 new geysers in Porong.
Following this discovery, there are indications that efforts to
relocate threatened transportation infrastructure will be
delayed. Some residents in West Siring are being exposed to
flammable hydrogen sulfide gas, which is now seeping out of
cracks in the floors of their homes. The Department of Energy
and Mineral resources reportedly will send 10 geologists to
study the impact of subsidence in Bringin and Siring villages.
In nearby Sidoarjo, 3,000 displaced residents who refuse to
accept the current compensation, demonstrated in front of a new
housing development complex. The demonstrators initially
stopped traffic in Sidoarjo but turned violent when police tried
to prevent them from stopping the opening of the Kahuripan
Housing complex. Kahuripan was created to house residents
displaced by the mud. Protestors threw stones, injuring one
police officer.

MCCLELLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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