Indonesia: High tides slam west, south coasts

Slamet Susanto The Jakarta Post 30 May 16;

High tides caused by changing pressure in the oceans have damaged dozens of ships and swept away residents’ possessions along the coasts of Yogyakarta and Aceh over the past few days.

On Depok beach, Yogyakarta, which is located on the south coast of Java, the homes and ships were hit by 5-meter high tides that swept away furniture from residents’ houses.

“There was no structural damage, but many tables and chairs were swept away by the tides,” Dardi Nugroho, a resident and a food stall owner at the beach, said on Sunday.

Fishermen were also unprepared for the high tides.

“More than 20 ships have been damaged. Fishermen did not see this coming. Dozens of fish nets are gone,” he said.

In Gunungkidul, dozens of boats are also heavily damaged.

“Boats were docked next to each other at the beach when the tides came. So they crashed into each other and were broken,” said Yanto, a fisherman from Baron beach, Gunungkidul.

Marjono, a search and rescue team member at Baron beach, said a total of 95 boats had been damaged and reminded fishermen to temporarily halt going out to the sea for the next week while waiting the tides to recede.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency ( BMKG ) office in Sabang, Aceh, also reminded residents of the country’s most-northern area, We Island, not to go fishing due to strong winds and high tides.

“Sabang and nearby regions will experience downpours, strong winds and high tides so we ask fishermen to stay at home until the weather improves,” said BMKG Sabang office head Siswanto, as quoted by Antara news agency.

He said that the strong winds along the north eastern part of We Island were caused by low pressure in Philippine waters.

Siswono also said that the generally bad weather in several parts of the country was caused by Madden-Julian Oscillation ( MJO ), a moving system of wind, cloud and atmospheric pressure that brings rain as it circles around the equator. The MJO is currently located at the western part of Indonesia, he added

“The MJO’s position has caused a lot of air in the clouds, causing the strong wind and high tides,” he said.

He predicted that the bad weather will continue until Tuesday.

The BMKG office in Aceh’s Meulaboh-Nagan Raya made a similar appeal to residents along the west coast of Aceh.

“All this week, there is a 3.5-meter high tide and strong wind. People should remain alert,” said BMKG Meulaboh-Nagan Raya office head Edi Darlupti on Sunday, as quoted by

Edi said residents in West Aceh should also be careful if spending their time along the beaches and avoid swimming in the open ocean.

“Now the waves at the beaches have reached 3-meters high. Please do not swim in the ocean at the moment,” he said.

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