Friday, January 4, 2008

A disaster of Mud - Mud Vulcano Sidoarjo

January 4 2008

We all know Indonesia lies in the "Ring of Fire". A tremendously large area where nature is the boss and shakes the earth often, threatening all life in the neighbourhood of countless vulcanoes, active or dormant.

We don't often hear about the tremors and earthquakes.
Only when the media think it's time again to put an area in the picture.

Did you know that at the end of May, 2006, a crack in an oilwell at around 6,000 feet (1,800 metres) started a disaster which has not yet ended?
It was at Lapindo Brantas drilling site near Gempol, just south of the town of Sidoarjo in the province of East Java.

Ofcourse the company states it didn´t cause the crack, but the unstable earth did. And ofcourse other people blame the company.
People are the same everywhere.

From the crack a mudflow is emerging with a high fluoride and sulphur content.
Every single day some 150,000 cubic meter hot mud streams in the area like water, causing thousands of people to loose their homes and lifelyhood.
Already more than 1500 people have been treated at the local hospital because of the gasses.

Experts say that the crack was not caused by human hand, but is a logical consequence of the geological conditions, which are similar of those of Mount Anyar and the mud structure at Porong is the same as at Mount Anyar.

Mount Anyar, on the border between Surabaya and Sidoarjo, was also formed by mudflows.
And Kuwu, Purwodadi and in Sangiran, Central Java, mudflows are still discharging, even up until now.

The initial idea of filling the well with a plug of mud and balls of cement is long abandoned.
Dams have been tried, channeling the mud to the sea and even transporting the hot mud through pipelines.
But nature is stronger, and there´s far more mud expected.
From Porong to Mount Anyar is a large underwater reservoir of 200 square kilometers in size and of a depth of four to five kilometers.

All life in the area is at risk, demonstrated by the fact that complete villages are destroyed and the traintrack has been flooded by the mud several times and is giving way because of the sagging ground. At some places the ground has lowered 25cm!

Nearer to the mud vulcano the gound gave in more than a metre!

A safe place on earth is becoming precious.


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