Toxic mud spurting from a gas drilling well part-owned by the Australian mining giant Santos threatens to mire East Java in a full-scale disaster, according to Sydney Morning Herald Correspondent in Jakarta, Mark Forbes (12/8/06, p.16).
Experts cannot stop it: Experts are unable to prevent millions of tonnes of mud blocking highways and rail links, and propose to divert the flow into the ocean, risking another environmental catastrophe.
Visit from President: Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, visited the disaster zone south of Surabaya after thousands more villagers were evacuated when the rising mud breached levees.
Compensation promise: He proffered words of comfort and promises of compensation.
Has forced 10,000 fom homes: For two months mud has flowed from an exploratory well near Porong, inundating 25 square kilometres, putting 1000 people in hospital with breathing difficulties and forcing more than 10,000 from their homes.
Rail link threatened: The mud threatens the rail link between Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia’s busiest port.
Mud wave after dam break: On 10 August more than 5000 people fled a wave of mud when a dam broke, leading to suggestions that large swathes of land should be left to the mud and residents relocated.
Damage could be $4b.: Damage estimates range from hundreds of millions to more than $4 billion.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 12/8/2006, p. 16
Source: Erisk Net