Wednesday, October 13, 2010

La Nina Threatens Industry and Safety

October 14, 2010

La Nina Rains Raise Risk of Indonesian Landslides: BNPB 12:13am Oct 14, 2010

No End to Production Woes as Experts Predict La Nina Weather May Worsen 8:02pm Oct 13, 2010

Jakarta. Officials on Wednesday warned that the La Nina atmospheric phenomenon would continue to affect the weather well into February and that the resulting heavy rains could bring with them more natural disasters.

Widada Sulistya, head of public meteorological services at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), said with the extended influence of La Nina on weather patterns, the rainy season would peak between December and January and could last until April.

The UN World Meteorological Organization said on Tuesday that La Nina conditions could further strengthen during the next four to six months.

Unusually wet weather in the country in recent months has already wreaked havoc on commodities, with rice, cocoa, rubber, palm oil, coal and tin all suffering production declines.

With rice production taking a hit and the threat of more flooding and landslides across the country, state logistics agency Bulog is looking at imports to shore up supplies.

Cocoa bean production is expected to fall 9 percent this year while local rubber prices are surging as rain disrupts tapping.

State-owned Timah, the world’s largest tin exporter, has halted spot sales and is negotiating delayed shipments. Coal mining operations are also suffering.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency warned that the unusually wet weather increased the chances of landslides nationwide.

Speaking a day after a landslide killed at least 10 workers at a palm oil plantation in Morowali, Central Sulawesi, an agency spokesman said similar incidents were likely to occur elsewhere in the archipelago.

He said 26 of the country’s 33 provinces were at heightened risk for landslides because of unstable topsoil, including Aceh, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Banten, West Java, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Gorontalo and Papua.

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