Villagers Washed Out by High Waves


High waves battered coastal communities in Jembrana last week, with many family homes inundated with sea water.

The stormy seas that battered west Bali on Friday morning were particularly pronounced in Negara district.

In Pengambengan Village around 20 households were flooded by seawater. Panicked residents fled inland and attempted to save their belongings from the affected properties.

One resident, Muhammad Dewasa, said the waves began to reach into the village at around 8am on Friday. He said some of the affected families had fled to the inland homes of friends and relatives; others had set up temporary camps away from the shore.

Houses in Yehsumbul in Mendoyo District were also affected.

Saihul Hadi, a local resident, said that at least nine houses had been swamped by sea water and the inhabitants had fled to higher ground. Candikusuma Village in Melaya, a community which has long been affected by coastal erosion, also suffered from the high seas, which water reaching building ten metres inland.

A four-year-old boy in Candikusuma, Rahmat Rizki Saputra, had a lucky escape after being swept away by the waves. He was rescued by his mother, Siti Hasanah.

The Jembrana regent, I Putu Artha, said that he had ordered his staff to open shelters in the affected areas over the weekend. He said that the regency authorities were coordinating with relevant local and provincial authorities to provide aid to the victims of the storms and to provide them with basic needs.

Meanwhile, officials say that in the last two weeks there has been severe abrasion on eight coastal areas in Bali, including Lebih, Padanggalak, Purnama, Seseh, Klotok, Pengambengan, Jembrana and Buleleng.

Head of the Environment Agency (BLH) in Bali AA Alit Sastrawan said that the abrasion had occurred right around the coast, but was worst in south Bali, where the waves and coastal currents are stronger.

Sastrawan said that abrasion had reached up to eight metres inland in places. He said that strict implementation of planning laws in vulnerable coastal regions was needed to prevent further damage.

He said that at present laws banning new development within 100 metres of a beach were rarely enforced.

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