JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s unpredictable weather continues to pose challenges for the authorities in the sea, land and air.
The Agency for the Application and Assessment of Technology or BPPT took a more scientific approach in challenging nature, as it spread more than 23 tons of salt over the Sunda Strait to divert rain to the area, instead of the Greater Jakarta area. Read this and more on Indonesia Highlights:
Ferry Sinks in Waters off Papua, All Passengers Accounted For
Search and Rescue [SAR] units in Papua announced that all seven passengers aboard a ferry which capsized in waters off the Asmat Regency have been accounted for on Monday evening, hours after the disaster struck at 10:30 am local time.
“Locals from the district of Fayit rescued three survivors who were identified as Wa, Ferdi and Elli, nine hours after their vessel, the KM Papua Star, went down at the Basim Estuary,” said George Mercy Randang, the head of the SAR team based in Timika, which is in charge of the rescue.
“The three were found safe and have been evacuated to the village of Basim, where they will spend the night because the low tide made it impossible for them to go by sea to the town of Agats, where we will be able to take them home.”
He added that the three will join their fellow survivors in heading home from Agats on Tuesday morning. George noted that the discovery of the survivors officially ended the rescue operation. The three joined four fellow survivors, David, Frans, Nabas, dan Robi in surviving the disaster.
SAR Team in West Sumatra, Indonesia, Rescue Climber From Volcano
Search and Rescue [SAR] personnel in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra have rescued a 14-year old teenager who fell in the crater of Mount Marapi, following a round the clock rescue effort last weekend.
The head of the SAR team in the nearby district of Limapuluh Kota, Robi Saputra, announced that rescuers found Ramzi safe on Sunday evening, February 28. “Ramzi was found with bruises on his head and open wounds on his feet,” he said to Kompas.com.
“His injuries are consistent with reports from the observation post or OP on Mount Marapi that Ramzi’s legs got caught on rocks on the crater wall.” Robi added that Ramzi was then rushed to the Yarsi hospital in Padang Panjang regency near Mount Marapi.
He believed that “[Ramzi] fell in the crater because of fatigue and poor visibility due to heavy fog [on the mountain],” he asserted. “We are concerned [that Ramzi] might breathe some toxic gases in the crater that are potentially lethal to humans.”
Mount Marapi is one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes, and last erupted in 2017 in an eruption that featured bursts of volcanic activity 19 times. The 2,819 meter mountain has been a draw for mountaineers and climbers throughout Indonesia, despite its potential dangers.
BPPT Spreads 23 Tons of Salt Over the Sunda Straits to Prevent Floods in Jakarta
The Agency for the Application and Assessment of Technology or BPPT has spread more than 23 tons or 23,600 kilograms of salt over the Sunda Straits to cause rain to fall over the area instead of over Jakarta.
The exercise is BPPT’s efforts at weather modification, namely to keep the waters from causing a devastating flood that inundated Jakarta and the surrounding areas.
“The salt was dropped over the Sunda Straits and nearby areas such as Lampung [province] and the Ujung Kulon National Park on the southern coast of Banten,” said BPPT Weather Modification expert Jon Arifian on Monday.
“The operation to minimize rainfall is perhaps the last of its kind, as the BMKG [Meteorological and Climatology Agency] reported no build-up of rain clouds or other extreme weather.”
The BPPT have been carrying out the operation since February 21, following BMKG reports of extreme weather over Jakarta, West Java and Banten, at the end of February. The floods in Jakarta displaced over 1,380 people from their homes.
The weather modification operation is a joint initiative between the BMKG, BPPT, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The Indonesian Air Force provided logistical support for the operation, as its planes were used to spread salt to divert the rains from Jakarta.
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