- Title: INDONESIA: Devastated area of Aceh Tamiang begins difficult task of recovery
- Date: 29th December 2006
- Summary: SIGN OF POLICE STATION IN KUALA SIMPANG, ACEH TAMIANG POLICE OFFICERS CLEANING UP THEIR OFFICE FROM MUD MORE OF MUD CLEANING
- Embargoed: 13th January 2007 12:00
- Location: Indonesia
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVACXADBCQCHY8RD3ZP2GZCVI5SU
- Story Text: The flattened area of Aceh Taming begun the difficult task of recovering from the damage left by floods last week.
Many forced from their homes by flooding in Indonesia earlier this month were cleaning up their houses and villages on Thursday (December 28)
In Indonesia's Aceh and North Sumatra provinces, where floods and related landslides killed at least 104 people, the number of displaced had dropped from 400,000 to nearer 200,000 as people returned from jerrybuilt shelters on high ground and temporary government camps.
Relief was getting to many of those in need of food and other basics, but rain was still heavy enough in some isolated areas to block aid shipments, officials said.
"The problems are lack of food and it's difficult to get drinking water," said Rosmini, a villager staying in a temporary shelter.
Health Ministry crisis chief Rustam Pakaya told Reuters that there were still five villages and two districts that rescuers couldn't reach because of the rain.
He said overall there were still 155 total people missing and 222,231 displaced.
Many who had returned home were cleaning mud and debris from their houses, but others found the task too overwhelming.
Some of them tried to go back home, but they came back again to the camps because their houses are still covered with mud.
"It seems impossible to return to our home, it's full of mud," said Jamilah, a villager staying in a truck turned into a temporary housing alternative.
The Health Ministry said scores of health clinics had been opened in badly affected areas to help treat and prevent medical problems.
"The problems are, lack of food and difficult the get drinking water," said Dr. Catur Haryati an health coordinator for Aceh Tamiang.
Flooding had also hit earlier in parts of peninsular Malaysia, across the Strait of Malacca from Sumatra.
The floods have also raised concerns in Indonesia about flows of palm oil, rubber and coffee to markets and ports, less because of serious damage to production than by disrupting transport.
Traders say washed out bridges and damaged roads have hampered delivery of raw materials.
But in Aceh output and movement of natural gas from offshore fields has not been affected, industry officials have said.
The flooding came two years after a giant tsunami left about 170,000 dead or missing in Aceh, a remote but resource-rich province whose capital, Banda Aceh, is 1,700 km (1,060 miles) northwest of Jakarta.
Authorities blame heavy rains and the effects of deforestation for the latest destruction. Lack of adequate forest cover leaves the ground less able to absorb excess water or hold soil in place.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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