Monsoon Rain, Wind and Waves Batter Bali
KUTA ~ Monsoon storms and heavy seas caused havoc around Bali over the past week and led to dangerous conditions for tourists at beaches, including Kuta, where late last week lifeguards rescued three tourists swept out to sea by waves and strong currents.
The wild weather cut at least one major road – the winding mountain road linking Singaraja and Kintamani, blocked by a landslide – and damaged homes. Bali-Lombok ferry services were badly hit.
At Kuta Beach, where lifeguards have been on full alert since the monsoon weather worsened at the beginning of last week, Badung lifeguard coordinator Made Suparka appealed to swimmers to be vigilant of rough conditions and to be careful they were not to dragged out to sea by strong currents and storm waves.
Eight lifeguards are manning each of six posts along the popular Kuta to Seminyak beach strip and a further 10 lifeguard posts are operating at other popular Badung beaches, including Nusa Dua, Uluwatu, Jimbaran and Batu Belig.
At the eastern Bali seaport of Padang Bai, rough conditions forced recurring port closures from January 14, causing queues of hundreds of trucks and other vehicles waiting to board ferries to cross the Lombok Strait to spill out of the port area.
On Lombok, ferry crossings to and from Lembar Harbour were disrupted when port authorities also suspended operations for up to eight hours at a time due to heavy rain, strong winds and high seas.
Nineteen ferries sail the Padangbai to Lembar route, with departures scheduled every two hours. Vehicles also were backed up at Lembar.
On Nusa Penida off southeast Bali, fishermen could not put to sea because of high seas, which also threatened to sweep fishing canoes and other small boats from moorings and beaches.
At least two fishermen reported their vessels had disappeared in the rough conditions.
In North Bali, storm waves hit the coastal district of Sawan where dozens of fishermen’s homes were wrecked at Bungkulan village.
Resident Ketut Rainah said two 5-metre rogue waves had shattered his home. Fishermen lost equipment that had been swept out to sea from their homes.
North Bali and Nusa Tengarra Barat were among regions of Indonesia alerted last week by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to expect heavy rainstorms, lightning and strong winds until at least January 18.
The bad weather was caused by wind pressure extending from the Java Sea to Banda Sea, influencing the occurrence of rain clouds, notably in southern Indonesia.
BMKG issued a dangerous sea weather warning for the Java Sea and Bali Strait. Ship operators and fishermen were advised last week to delay any kind of sea travel for at least three days because of high waves and strong winds.Filed under: Headlines