Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Speedboats Plying Sunda Strait Crossing

Merak Bakauheni Port Authority in Banten has temporarily banned express boats from serving the Bakauheni-Merak crossing due to bad weather in the Sunda Strait.

Merak harbormaster official H Warsito said Wednesday they had not allowed fast boats to go because the waves were still more than two meters high on the strait.

Warsito said that with current high seas, as well as strong winds and rains, fast boat trips were dangerous.

Passengers are left with no choice but to take ferries, which have been operated at fewer number than usual.

“The bad weather have forced us to only operate up to 20 ferries, from the normal numbers between 23 and 25,” he said as quoted by Antara.

The crossing trip takes three to four hours by ferry, compared to 45 minutes by speedboat.

Bad Weather to Continue until April

The current bad weather will continue until April, according to a forecast by a climate laboratory belonging to the State Aviation and Aeronautics Institute (LAPAN).

Thomas Djamaluddin, head of atmosphere and climate science at the center, put the current poor weather, including torrential rain and storms, down to the El Nino, a global weather phenomenon associated with natural disasters.

Thomas said the rainfall in February would be higher than in last month, and that the worst weather would hit coastal areas.

"Beach areas will suffer the worst weather and high tides," he said.

He warned residents and sea transportation of possible high seas during full moons on Feb. 9 and Feb. 25.

Thomas said heavy rain would fall across the country, especially in western parts of Indonesia, including Sumatra and Java. (the jakarta post)

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