River erosion damages road, isolates villagers

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The Jakarta Post | Archipelago | Thu, November 29 2012, 8:46 AM

Flooding and river erosion have left residents in six villages in Air Hangat Timur district and Sulak Mukai district, both in Kerinci regency, isolated as the main road that links the villages with the nearest region, Sitinjau laut district, is reportedly damaged.

The six villages affected are Pasir Jaya, Lubuk Tabun, Sungai Kuning, Pungut Hilir, Pungut Mudik and Pungut Tengah.

Roughly 40-meters of road crumbled into the Batang Sangkir River, which due to heavy rain had been overflowing for the last few days.

No four-wheeled vehicles can pass the road and the alternative road, the Pungut-Tutung River route, is currently not passable either following a landslide in the area.

Dozens of students from SMA 1 Sitinjau Laut high school and SMP Hiang junior high are finding their usual route to school difficult as they have to pass the road every day to reach their destination.

Pirman, a resident of Hiang, urged the administration to immediately fix the damaged road, saying that the road was the main access to other villages and residents also used the road to transport their produce to other regions.

”There are dozens of hectares of rice fields in the area. During the harvest how will we transport our crops to the city if the main road is still damaged?” Pirman said.

Sitinjau Laut district head Nasrul said the natural incident occurred on Monday night.

“I checked the erosion and it seems to be getting worse. I have reported this issue to the administration but I have yet to receive feedback,” said Nasrul.