Indonesia: Flooding paralyzes trans-Sulawesi highway

Ruslan Sangadji The Jakarta Post 22 Jun 16;

Heavy rains in Central Sulawesi since noon on Tuesday have inundated several villages in Parigi Moutong regency and cut off access to the trans-Sulawesi highway. The highway, which is located in Dolago and Masari villages in the regency, has been flooded since Tuesday afternoon. Knee-high flooding was also seen in paddy, settlements and roads.

Amran Amier, a local who had planned to leave Poso for Palu on Tuesday evening, claimed he was unable to continue his travels on account of the flooding.

“Many houses are inundated, it looks like a lake has formed,” said Amran.

Salahuddin, who drove from Poso to Palu on Tuesday evening, said he got stuck in traffic in Tolai village, Parigi Moutong, amid the flooding.

As of Wednesday, estimated losses incurred as a result of the flooding on the trans-Sulawesi highway had not been announced. The floods have also cut off access to a number of roads in Palu. Fruit vendors on Jl.Raden Saleh, East Palu, were unable to protect their goods when floodwaters swept in.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) office at the Mutiara SIS Aljufri Airport in Palu predicted high intensity rains on Wednesday and Thursday, especially in the eastern areas of Central Sulawesi such as Banggai, Tojo Unauna, Poso and Parigi Moutong regencies. High intensity rain is expected to continue in Palu.

“Morowali, North Morowali and southern Banggai will still have clear weather,” said BMKG Mutiara SIS Aljufri head Kasiron.

On Wednesday, he said, there would be intense cloud concentration in Ternate, Maluku. As winds moved to the west, this would affect weather in Banggai, Central Sulawesi.

Kasiron said heavy rains would potentially fall in Kilo village, North Poso Pesisir district, Poso regency, on Wednesday due to the creation of cumulonimbus clouds in the sky. “Kilo residents should stay alert,” said Kasiron. (ebf)

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