Thursday, January 05, 2006
TO ACEH WITH LOVE
our humble correspondent will be off to Indonesia tomorrow morning, so blogging will be sparse for the next three weeks. I'll overnight in Jakarta, fly to Medan on Saturday and should reach Tapaktuan before dawn on Sunday. See the little photo of the lovely little bay nestled beneath mountains, over on our sidebar? That's the spot. I've attached a link to the picture which will take you to Google Maps, to see just where it is.
I've also added some more links in several categories over there, which is long overdue. I've been a little negligent in weeding out a few which seem inactive lately, but that can wait til I have more time. In the meantime check out some of the new additions. And I especially apologise to asiapundit for not getting him up there earlier -- I recently found through Technorati that he had linked to a couple of my articles in recent months. Chris is a Canadian who writes about Asian issues, mainly focussed on China (and writes from China if I'm not mistaken). That'll teach me to pay more attention to Technorati in future -- I thought nobody was reading this thing. Thanks Chris.
I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to post from Tapaktuan, but I will if I can. There has never been internet access there that I know of, but with international monitors in Aceh overseeing the decommissioning of GAM and withdrawal of TNI troops, as well as the presence of international NGO's involved in post-disaster reconstruction projects, there may well be some public net access now in our little town. In any case, there will be stories and photos here when I get back at the end of the month.
Here's something interesting I got from MetroTV last night. That terrible landslide which buried a town in Central Java, according to one man who survived, was preceded by an audible warning about 3 hours before the hillside came down. He described that he was standing outside the schoolhouse when he heard a strange rumbling sound from the hills, and called people out to listen. Some of the people took it as a dangerous sign, and got out of the area, though he was unclear about how many had done so. Currently only about a dozen bodies have been recovered in Sijeruk Village, Banjarnegara regency. There are fears that most of the 300+ residents of the village are buried under the mud. A flash flood in Jember, East Java a few days earlier has claimed 77 victims at last count. Rampant illegal logging is likely a major contributor to these disasters, which happen almost every rainy season. See the headlines in the sidebar for latest reports.