Whirlwinds hit tens of houses in Makassar
January 7, 2008, 2:48 am
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Makassar, South Sulawesi (ANTARA News) – Tens of houses in Biringkanaiya sub district, Makassar, South Sulawesi province, were seriously damaged by a whirlwind early Saturday.

Some of the residents whose houses were hit by the whirlwind, evacuated themselves to the homes of relatives or emergency tents set up for them, Makassar Mayor Ilham Arif Siradjuddin said here on Saturday.

The mayor presented relief aid consisting of rice, drinking water and instant noodles to the victims when he visited the refugee camp.

Biringkanaiya sub district head M Yamin said of the 65 houses hit by the whirlwind 43 were considerably damaged.

In late December 2007, a total of 127 houses were devastated by whirlwinds in Tallo subdistrict, and 39 others in Mario subdistrict, Makassar.

Meanwhilde, Pangkep District Head Syafruddin reported that about 137 houses in Labakkang, Sigeri and Mandalle sub districts, were affected by whirlwinds. Two residents were wounded as they were hit by debris from their own houses.

A number of houses were also damaged in Sidrap, Papepare and Bulukumba due to strong winds.

A newly-built complex of chicken coops was leveled tothe ground by a whirlwind in Papepare.

Te Makassar meteorology and geophysics (BMG) office reported that the speed of the whirlwind was recorded at 45 km per hour.

Hanafi Hamzah, a BMG official , predicted Makassar is lkely to be hit by stronger whirlwinds and heavy rains in the coming three days as an impact of tropical cyclone Helen which had been developing in Darwin, Australia.

According to the BMG office` weather forecast, rain precipitation in South Sulawesi in January 2008 would be between 675-750 mm per month, compared to normal precipitation of 500 mm per month.

The US National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA)`s National Weather Service (NWS) recently reported that Indonesia would continue to experience above-average precipitation under the impact of La Nina in the period December 2007 – February 2008.

Floods recently inundated several Indonesian provinces, including Jakarta, Gorontalo, Jambi, Central Java, West Java, East Java and West Sumatra.(*)


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