November 16, 2008

Lumpur Lapindo (Lapindo Mud)

After being in Surabaya on business trip for the "I-don't-know-how-many"-th time, I decided to stop by the Lapindo Mud area on my way back to the airport. This is a newly famous "tourist object" in the subdistrict of Porong, Sidoarjo (just a few kilometres outside of Surabaya) which is a mud volcano that has been overflowing since mid-2006 until today (2 years of non-stop mud flow!!).

You can see from the pictures below (courtesy of CRISP - National University of Singapore) that the mud has now covered a huge area of what used to be villages.


October 2008

The cause of this tragedy is still uncertain, but a recent Geologists' conference in Cape Town voted in favor of the view that the mudflow was induced by PT Lapindo Brantas' drilling in the area. The Indonesian government has concluded that PT Lapindo Brantas (which is owned by Bakrie Group) must compensate hundreds of people affected by the mud (these people have lost their homes & occupations). However until now, the company still hasn't paid the full compensation fee.

When arriving near the site, you can smell a bad odour apparently coming from the gases that accompany the mudflow. Dams and barriers have been build to prevent the mud from overflowing an even larger area.

To see the mud area, you must go on top of the dams. The local people have made steps from bamboo in order to get to the top. The "entrance fee" is Rp. 3000. If you are not content at looking from a distance, you can also get an ojek (motorcycle transport) that will take you nearer to the source. But of course, they will charge you more.

Since I had little time & also I had heard of news that there had been sudden eruptions that killed a few people, I was satified with the view from the top. Unluckily, I realized that my cell phone's battery was dead so I couldn't take any photographs. The following photos are from a few blogs I found :

(left: The dam/barrier, source : Ajnatz's blog; right : Steps made of bamboo, source : Denmas Rul's blog)

Lapindo mud (source: Denmas Rul's blog)

November 9, 2008

Heroes Season 3 - Shadows by Nidji

I am a bit ashamed to admit this, but I'm not that fond of Indonesian songs. Everytime I listen to the radio & an Indonesian song is coming up, I immediately change the radio station. However, this does not mean that I don't have any favorite Indonesian songs, but there are only a handful of Indonesian artists that I like. One of these artists is an Indonesian band called : Nidji

It is a relatively new band, but every time they release a new single, it becomes a #1 hit.

If you have STAR World Asia on your cable subscription, nowadays you can hear them on the Heroes season 3 trailer. The background song is by Nidji, called "Shadows". This is the second time that their song has been used by STAR World as the background for a Heroes ad. Previously, their song "Heaven" was used.

Nidji Rocks!
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