One missing at sea as strong winds hit Denpasar

by KE Frans on 2013-02-25

Strong winds hit Denpasar on Saturday night causing a number of accidents in the city, with one of two residents swept away by the waves when fishing still missing as of Sunday.

The city’s Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) together with the Search and Rescue Agency, is still searching for Ketut Temon Tiasa, a resident of Sanur Kauh.

The 42-year-old man had gone fishing with his brother-in-law Made Ada off Mertasari Beach on Saturday at around 4:30 p.m.

When the strong winds started, the two men were still fishing out at sea.

“The fishing boat they were using was damaged by the rough sea,” Made Prapta, head of rehabilitation and reconstruction at BPBD, said on Sunday.

He said the two men had become separated and swept away by the waves.

On Sunday morning, Ada was found floating in the waters off Serangan by local fishermen and was rushed to Sanglah Hospital. He is still undergoing medical treatment.

Search efforts are still underway around Sanur, Serangan and Tanjung Benoa to find Temon. The search and rescue team predicted that his body would be stranded not too far from those areas.

“We will keep searching. We have yet to decide when we will stop the search,” Prapta said.

According to the city’s Climatology, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) the strong winds occurred for nine minutes and were followed by heavy rains.

The wind gauge at Ngurah Rai airport recorded wind speeds of 32 knots, or equivalent to 57.6 kilometers per hour (kph), above normal speeds that range from 10 to 38 kph, said Nyoman Wirya Jaya, BMKG’s head of data and information division.

“Residents should be alert for this,” he said.

Officers at the city’s call center received many phone calls after the incident.

Wira, one of the officers, said he had received emergency calls due to a number of accidents.

The strong wind caused toppled trees in some parts of the city, including on Jl. Cokroaminoto, where a large tree fell on the kitchen of a house belonging to Nyoman Sugiarta. He suffered an estimated loss of Rp 5 million (US$515).

On Jl. Panjaitan in Renon a motorcyclist was rushed to Sanglah Hospital after being hit by falling tree.

Meanwhile, a resident of Serangan was involved in a traffic accident caused by trying to avoid a toppled tree. BPBD recorded fallen trees in eight locations.

The strong winds also caused higher tides. On Bali’s north coast, the high tide reached between 3 to 4 meters, Wirya said, adding that it was not safe to travel on the sea in this situation.

“We have warned seaports about this situation. Tides above two meters are not safe for ferry activities.”

He explained that this bad weather was due to low air pressure. On Sunday, BMKG recorded that air pressure had decreased from above 1,000 DM to 996 DM.

The falling air pressure originated from southwest Australia and was affected by the position of the sun, which is currently south of the equator.

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