April 17, 2021, 11.12 PM

KUPANG, KOMPAS.com - The provincial administration of Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) have requested the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) to research a new island in Rote Ndao Regency which emerged after Cyclone Seroja hit the area last week.

"The island sprung into existence within Rote Island [after Cyclone Seroja]," said NTT provincial administration Marius Ardu Jelamu to Kompas.com in Kupang, Saturday, April 17.

"We hope that LIPI can carry out geological research on this new landmass, as it is a one of a kind natural phenomenon."

Also read: Disaster Update: 138 Killed, 61 Missing in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara

Marius added that "the Rote Ndao regency has not notified the NTT provincial administration about the new island. We only learned about the new island from the media." 

He noted that the addition of a new island on the NTT map has led to a number of theories on its formation. "The theories include the possibility that the island emerged as a result of the high waves accompanied by tornadoes during Cyclone Seroja," he asserted.

"When the cyclone passed the sea, the direction of the wind might have created a hole that caused sediment from the seabed to be raised upwards to form the new island," said Marius.

Also read: Flash Floods, Landslides Kill Dozens in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara

"We do not yet know whether the new island was formed by a pile of rubbish underneath or whether it was soil carried away from the mainland due to high tides," Marius continued. He noted that LIPI's help is needed to determine the causes behind the island's emergence.

Officials at Rote Ndao Regency's Loaholu district reported the first sightings of the new island. "The new island appeared on Sunday, April 4 in the wake of Cyclone Seroja," said Loaholu District Head Jemi Oktovianus Adu to Kompas.com, Tuesday, April 13.


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