Indonesia: Floods, strong winds cost Buleleng Rp 500 million

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Alit Kertaraharja , The Jakarta Post , Buleleng | Mon, 01/11/2010 3:31 PM | Bali

Torrential rains and flooding have hit Buleleng regency for the past three days, causing at least 500 million in losses.

I Nengah Widiana Santosa, secretary of the local disaster prevention team, said several villages had sustained severe damage from the inclement weather.

"We haven't counted the total financial losses yet, since we're still waiting for reports from other affected areas," he said at the weekend.

Buleleng is the worst-hit of the eight regencies in storm-buffeted Bali, straddling as it does coastal areas in the north to mountainous terrain in the west.

Heavy rains and strong winds have taken their toll on homes and other buildings in villages such as Tegallinggah and Panji.

Public schools have also experienced significant damage from flooding, while landslides have torn up several sections of the main Singaraja-Denpasar road.

The regency administration has not implemented any recovery program to reconstruct damaged homes, buildings, roads or bridges.

Harry Tirto Djatmiko, from the Meteorology, Climate and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), warned of high waves around most of Indonesia's coastal areas, including off Bali and West Nusa Tenggara.

"Heavy rains and cloud cover, coupled with strong winds, will remain over much of Indonesia, including Bali, for the next two days," he said.

The skies will remain overcast until the end of January, Djatmiko predicted.

In Buleleng, only a handful of people have received aid from the local authorities. "We got some cash, food and medicine from private donor," Santosa said.

Buleleng regency secretary Ketut Gelgel Ariadi said the administration would allocate Rp 3.5 billion to repair damage caused by the bad weather.