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Floods and Landslides in Bali's North

Heavy Rain and Landslide Trigger Major Damage to Village in Buleleng, North Bali.

(12/19/2010) Severe weather has brought a range of extreme weather phenomenon to Bali in mid-December 2010. Higher-than-normal winds and wave conditions are blamed for sporadic closings of the ferry crossing between Java and Bali. Meanwhile, heavy rains, flooding, hail storms, lightning strikes and landslides have been experienced in various parts of the island.

Flash floods struck the village of Ambengan in Buleleng, North Bali on Sunday, December 13, 2010. Although no loss of life was reported because of the flood - tens of homes were destroyed, tens of hectares of productive agricultural land was damaged and substantial disruptions inflicted on roads and electrical installations. A number of agricultural animals - chiefly cattle, pigs and chicken also perished in the flash floods.

Heavy rains caused the river flowing through Banjar Gembong to overflow their banks forcing those living near the river to flee to safety. After nearly five hours of torrential rain in the area, a landslide upstream from the village and the growing volume of water flowing in the river brought trees and large stones crashing through the community, leveling residences in their wake. Local residents told NusaBali that just before the torrent of river-borne debris ripped through the village a loud rumbling was heard coming from the nearby hills. Officials later identified the source of the noise as a massive landslide further up stream that filled the stream with rolling rocks, mud and fallen trees.

Preliminary estimates indicate 23 homes were damaged by the flood, 8 of which were completely leveled by the onslaught of water and debris. In addition to damage to agricultural crops and dead livestock, a bridge leading to the village also suffered extensive damage together with a 5-kilometer stretch of connecting roadway. Electrical service to the community has also been interrupted by the flood.

Total damage to the community is estimated in the billions of rupiahs.

Heavy rains also brought landslides to other areas of Buleleng, including the villages of Pedawa, Gobleg and Banjar.