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Balinese Lake Filled to Overflowing

Flooding at Bali's Lake Tamblingan Floods Causes Disruptions as People Flee Shore Side Homes.

(2/12/2011) At least 21 home and 2 temples on the shores of Tamblingan Lake in the Buleleng region of Bali were flooded when the water levels on the lake rose five meters, temporarily moving the existing shore line by as much as 300 meters inland in some areas.

Bali Post reports that on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, people living on the shore of Tamblingan lake were forced to flee their homes as "thigh-high" water intruded into their living spaces. Several homes built very close to the shoreline were totally submerged with only their roof-lines still visible above the water line. Local resident were compelled to use local boats in desperate efforts to rescue personal belongings.

In addition to the residences, two Hindu temples located on the shoreline - Pura Gubug and Pura Turta Mengening, also fell victim to the flooding. Buildings surrounding the temples were completely enveloped by the rising waters.

Residents affected by the flooding were compelled to build simple huts in nearby protected forests and jungles area. In total, nearly 30 families fled the flooding with 21 homes submerged to some degree and another 9 homes deemed to be in imminent danger of flooding.

Two local residents, Mangku Suitra and Luh Sariati, told Bali Post that the flooding of the lake's shore line began about 10 days earlier when heavy rainfall covered the mountain-lake district of Bali. Despite a pause in the rains, the lake's level continued to rise, eventually covering the shoreline homes. Other local residents blamed the unusual flooding on heavy rains the inability of catchment areas to absorb rainfall.

The last time the lake flooded was in 1972. The flooding of the lakes follows a series of years in which the water level of the lake has been steadily declining.

Authorities in charge of the protected jungle areas have told the press they will allow those who have built temporary sheds to remain on the forested lands for a limited period. The refugees from the lake's shore are largely employed as day laborers and fishermen causing many of the displaced families to now be running short on basic food supplies.