Impacts of Cyclone Narelle, Typhoon Bopha make Indonesia very windy


Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia has been very windy over the past two weeks as the impacts of Cyclone Narelle that has been developing in Australia and Typhoon Bopha which has been hitting the Philippines.

In many Indonesian regions, ships and boats could not sail and fishermen have been warned to be cautious due to strong winds and huge waves triggered by the cyclone and typhoon respectively affecting Australia and the Philippines, which are Indonesia`s neighboring countries.

Indonesia`s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has confirmed that strong winds most likely to hit the country because of the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Narelle which has hit the Indian Ocean.

“There is a possibility that strong winds will continue to hit Indonesia. People should try to be far away from tress, billboards and old buildings,” said BNPB`s spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, in Jakarta on Friday (Jan 11).

Although Indian Ocean is far away from Indonesia, it is possible that the impact of the cyclone will be felt in Indonesia, he said.

The tropical cyclone can have an impact on the weather conditions in Indonesia, in the form of heavy downpours in West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.

High waves could exceed four meters in height in the Southern Sunda Strait, Java Sea, and in the waters around Banten, West Nusa Tenggara, Sumba, Kupang and Rote Island (East Nusa Tenggara).

Head of the National Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG)`s Maritime Meteorology Agus Wahyu Raharjo in a discussion in Jakarta, on Sunday (Jan 13) confirmed about the strong winds and huge waves in Indonesian waters.


BMKG in cooperation with the transportation ministry and the police`s maritime unit, have disseminated information warning fishermen and those living in the coastal areas about strong winds and huge waves, through various means such as radio and e-mail.

The agency has carried out early detections of extreme weather that triggers strong winds and high waves in 142 coastal areas throughout Indonesia, he said.

In East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) waters, that shares maritime border with Australia, the sea waves reached a height of up to seven meters, according to Head of the El Tari Kupang Meteorology Office Syaiful Hadi.

The bad weather has cut off the sea transportation connecting three islands in East Flores District, NTT, over the past three days.

“Few days ago, NTT experienced tropical depression near southwest Sumba, but at present it develops into tropical cyclone Narelle,” Hadi said in Kupang, NTT, on Friday (Jan 11).

East Flores District Head Yoseph Lagadoni Herin said the inter-island sea transportation was halted due to the bad weather that endangers sailing.

The district consists of three islands namely Larantuka, Adonara Island and Solor Islands, which has so far connected by small boats.

“Five days ago, a fishermen was missing while fishing, and last Thursday, there was a report about a fishing boat which is missing in Lamahala,” he said.

He urged fishermen and boat operators to stop going to the sea while the district is being hit by strong winds.

As for Typhoon Bopha, the Ternate meteorology office has predicted that the impacts of the deadly typhoon could reach North Maluku Province, particularly on Morotai Island.

“Fisherman and small passenger boats have to be careful when sailing in Morotai Island waters, especially in this mid January, because the typhoon might trigger heavy rains, strong winds and huge waves,” Muhammad Rivan, weather forecaster of the Ternate meteorology office, said on Monday (Jan 14).


He even suggested fishermen and boat operators not to operate when it is raining or very windy because the waves could reach a height of up to three meters in Morotai waters and North Halmahera.

When the Bopha Typhoon severely struck the southern Philippines on December 3-24, 2012, North Maluku`s northern Halmahera was also affected although it did not cause any damage.

Typhoon Bopha which struck the Philippines` Davao region of eastern Mindanao last December, was the deadliest catastrophe in the world in 2012 in terms of fatalities, with 1,901 deaths.

Bopha or locally known as Pablo, was also one of the most devastating typhoons last year, with damage totalling some $1 billion, said Impact Forecasting in its December report on global catastrophes in 2012, “Global Catastrophe Recap.”

A number of Indonesian regions have been hit by bad weather lately. Recently, BNPB`s spokesman Sutopo reported in Jakarta, that whirlwinds hit 11 sub districts in Pinrang District, South Sulawesi Province, on January 7, killing one person and injuring another.

“The whirlwinds killed one person, slightly injured another, and damaged 697 houses. The dead victim was Suryani, 40, an inhabitant of Tempa Sub District. She was hit by a falling tree,” he said.

The strong winds damaged 66 houses in Wakasawito Sub District, 50 in Materobulu, 135 in Tiroang, 131 in Tempa, 101 in Matero, 47 in Panua, 83 in Ranriskan, 41 in Patapanua, 25 in Lembang, 16 in Paletea, and two in Tupa, he said.

In Mamuju District, West Sulawesi Province, a storm and whirlwind caused power blackout at 11.30 pm local time on January 9.

Power outages were triggered by very strong wind coming from the west direction and hit heavily populated residential areas in Mamuju, Jusman, a local resident, said. Small cafes and stalls were shattered by the strong winds.

On January 10, about 81 big trees collapsed in Jakarta when the city was hit by strong winds.

“The trees hit nine cars and three houses. About five billboards also collapsed due to strong winds on Thursday,” Sutopo said.


The impacts of Tropila Cyclone Narella was said to be the cause of strong winds and heavy rain in Jakarta.

On Madura Island, East Java, at least 13 houses were damaged when a whirlwind hit Paliat Village, Sapeken Sub District, Sumenep District, last week.

Strong winds also slammed across the regency of Cilacap, Central Java, damaging 346 houses in 15 villages in the district on January 9.

Two houses collapsed and 114 other were badly damaged with 232 having minor damage, in four sub-districts of Cimanggu, Majenang, Wanareja, and Cipari. The strong winds also caused traffic jams as many fallen trees blocked the roads along Central Java`s southern highways.

During 2012, Indonesia was hit by a total of 729 disasters, and 259 of them or 36 percent, were whirlwinds.

Last year, whirlwinds killed a total of 36 people, forced 27,254 people to take refuge, seriously damaged 3,885 houses, moderately damaged 1,968 houses, and slightly damaged 12,737 houses throughout the country.

Some 115 million people reside in 404 districts/cities in Sumatra, Northern Java, East Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi, which are prone to whirlwinds.

Whirlwinds affect Indonesians every year, but as a result of global warming, the number of whirlwinds is on the rise every year.





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