Aceh Flood Victims Run Low on Essential Supplies

Banda Aceh, TAG - More than 16,000 residents from in Aceh’s Pidie district are currently facing critical shortages of essential items after floods last week cut them off from the outside world.

Sulaiman, an official in Mane subdistrict, told the Jakarta Globe on Monday that residents there and in the neighboring subdistrict of Geumpang had been running low on supplies for the past four days. 

Widespread flooding on Thursday severed several main roadways linking Pidie to neighboring West Aceh district.

“The most severe is in Ie Rhot in Tangse subdistrict, where some 400 meters of road collapsed because of the floods last Thursday evening,” Sulaiman said in a telephone interview. 

The road was also severed in at least five other points between Krueng Meriam in Tangse and Cot Kuala on the border of Tangse and Mane. 

“In Mane and Geumpang , there have been no fatalities due to the floods, but we are facing a crisis because it has been four days now since we’ve been isolated and cannot come or go,” Sulaiman said. 

In addition to thinning food stocks, prices have also soared, with Premium gas now selling at Rp 8,000 (91 cents) per liter from the usual Rp 5,000. The cost of kerosene has more than doubled to Rp 7,000 from Rp 3,000, while cooking oil is selling for Rp 15,000 per liter, Rp 4,000 above the normal price. 

“These essentials have for the past three days come from Meulaboh in West Aceh, but even this is now facing problems because two spots were hit by a landslide in the Kubu Aneuk Manyak mountain range, about 30 kilometers from the Geumpang market,” Sulaiman said.

Other obstacles were man-made, he said, with one local police officer on Sunday allegedly asking for Rp 120,000 as a levy to bring in supplies from Meulaboh.

“They know we are all suffering, but they still continued to demand money,” Sulaiman said. “We certainly hope that the police chief can bring his personnel under control, especially since we are having a difficult time.” 

M. Iriawan, district secretary for Pidie and a coordinator at a flood mitigation post in Tangse, said heavy machinery had already been dispatched to clear the roads to the subdistricts cut off by the floods and landslides. 

Meanwhile, the area continues to see heavy rains, especially in the late afternoon, adding to fears of further landslides.[]
Aceh Flood Victims Run Low on Essential Supplies Aceh Flood Victims Run Low on Essential Supplies Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on March 16, 2011 Rating: 5

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