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Surf's Up

Bali and Java Experience Unusually High Waves Caused by Planetary Alignment and Strong Winds.

(5/21/2007) Unusually large waves struck the southern shorelines of Java and Bali on Thursday and Friday, May 17-18, 2007, destroying shoreline buildings and preventing local fisherman from going to sea.

In Bali, the waves swept ashore along the beaches at Kuta and Jimbaran, dissuading tourists from recreating on Bali's most popular seaside and sweeping away the simple sheds of local businesspeople at the fishing village of Jimbaran. A number of local fishing boats in Bali were reportedly also destroyed by the sudden waves.

Local press reports state that the unusually high waves and ocean swell hit their peak on Friday, May 18, 2007, and were worst felt in Bali along the beaches at Kuta, Jimbaran, Kuta, Sanur and Tanah Lot. The popular Kedonganan seafood dining area, near Jimbaran, sustained damage to locally-owned restaurants when the waves came ashore and swept into at least 4 local dining places. At least 2 homes and tens of local fishing boats also suffered significant damage. Meanwhile, visitors to Bali's famous Pura Tanah Lot at Jimbaran witnessed huge waves breaking over the temple, located in the ocean a short distance off the shore line.

A natural phenomenon, the waves measuring as high as 4-5 meters along Bali's coast were blamed by Indonesian officials of the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG) on a the celestial alignment of the sun and moon resulting in unusually high tides working in concert with strong off-shore winds and were expected to last for only 3-4 days.