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Four villages in East Aceh isolated due to flood

East Aceh, EkuatorialFour villages of East Aceh district were isolated due to floods caused by heavy rains for the past week, said a local villager recently.

The four villages, — Tampo Bor village, Tampor Paloh village, Melidi village and Ranto Naru village –, are located at Simpang Jerning sub district of East Aceh, has seen regular ‘shut off’ since Aceh Tamiang flash flood hit them in 2006. They can be isolated for weeks if rainy season comes.

Jumarin, chief of Tampor Bor, said that few of his villagers went to district city to some errands on last Thursday and have failed to return to their village because of river overflow. Meanwhile, Tamiang river was the only route towards their villages.

“When I went out from the village, water surcharge was not high for boats to cross,” said Jumarin. “However, there are no boats dare to cross the river because of the tide.”

High tide is considered very dangerous, especially in a location called as Batu Katak by local villagers, as accidents occur in the area. Locals stated that there were at least ten boats sinking between 2012 and 2014 at Batu Katak, killing two teachers, two villagers, and more than ten units of motorcycles and other crops were drowned.

Aji Sah, villager of Melidi said that those four villages were isolated between October and January assuming that Tamiang river was more shallow and narrow making water surcharge and tide were higher during rainy season. “Villagers were forced to wait for water to get back to normal to return to the villages or going out from their villages,” said Sah.

His village is located nearest to the city of Kuala Simpang, around 90 kilometers or six to eight hours of travel using boats, provide clear weather.

Villagers prefer to use water transportation because land infrastructures were badly damage and no roads. It would take six hours on foot to reach other villages. “From Melidi village to Lukop, it would take two days of walking on foot because of bad roads and hills,” said Sah adding that villagers have been running out of groceries. Even if they were available, he said, it would cost a lot of money. “High price is just understandable because they went far to buy them. We had no choice because we ran out of groceries. We eat almost every thing from our own gardens while waiting for the river to go back to normal so we can go to the city [to buy groceries],” he said adding that an egg can cost Rp2500 from Rp1200 normal price. Ivo Lestari

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