Saturday, February 25, 2012

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: "Chronic Disease" - Land Subsidence Hits 50 Cities in China; Government Moves to Shore up Sinking Land!

More than 50 cities in China have wide-spread land subsidence, China Central Television (CCTV) reported Monday.

As large as 79,000 square kilometers of land has dropped more than 200 millimeters, Zhang Zuozhen, vice-president of China Geological Environmental Monitoring Institute, told CCTV. The subsidence mainly occurs at the Yangtze River Delta, North China and plain areas covering North China's Shanxi province and Northwest China's Shaanxi province, he said. The lowering of ground is mainly caused by excessive exploitation of underground water, which has led to damage of buildings, bridges, underground pipelines and dysfunction of urban drainage system, according to the report. The State Council has approved a plan of preventing land subsidence from 2011 to 2020, which was jointly created by several ministries and commissions including Ministry of land and Resources.

Guan Fengjun, director of geological environment department of Ministry of Land and Resources, said the main method to control land subsidence is to prevent underground water from dropping. The report said some cities have taken strict measures to limit collecting underground water. In Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, more than 1,000 wells have been sealed after 150 square kilometers of land dropped more than 200 millimeters since 1959. Shanghai, located at the Yangtze River Delta is recharging underground water through 121 wells with more than 60,000 tons every day. - ECNS.
On February 19, the State Council approved China's Land Subsidence Prevention Project, an endeavor that has been revised by ten ministries, according to officials.
According to research, more than 50 counties in China are slowly sinking. Experts compare land sinking to a chronic disease, that goes unnoticed but remains dangerous. More than 50 county-areas in China are suffering from land subsidence, while the total area of land lower than 200 millimeters has reached 79,000 square kilometers. Parts of the cities may be submerged under water in the future. The areas which have the most severe situations are the Yangtze River Delta, the North China Plain and the Fen-Wei basin. According to the China Geological Survey, in the past decades, the economic losses caused by land subsidence in the Yangtze River Delta have totaled up to 315 billion yuan. The economic losses of the North China Plain amount to 332.8 billion yuan. - Global Times.
View more images and the complete video of the land subsidence HERE.

News coverage of the land subsidence in China.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Chasm Opens Up Near Rostrio, Santander in Spain!

Massive chasm opened near the shore in an area of zone Rostrío, Santander, Spain. According to experts this reason was the process of the dissolution of limestone rocks at the depth, which creates underground caves, which may eventually lead to the processes of the collapse of the surface material.

The Coasts and the city of Santander, yesterday moved to the area of ​​Rostrío, Punta de la Mesa, to learn firsthand the awesome chasm that has opened near the coast. This area is the responsibility of the Coasts being those lands located within the Dominion Land Sea. Jose Antonio Osorio, head of this department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, yesterday sent two technicians who have made pictures and data taken on the status of the chasm. With the information we have collected will prepare a report on whether any action needs to be done in the hollow point to provide security and if there is any sign that indicate the need for caution as advised researchers at the University of Cantabria, the geologists, Viola Bruschi and Henry French.

Meanwhile the city of Santander yesterday also revised this point to, in turn, to take photographs and see if any action would need soplao. However the Councillor for the Environment, Maria Tejerina, said that "any action not within our jurisdiction, so it will, ultimately, any decision of the Coasts."
Since this newspaper made known the existence of this ravine, there have been numerous people who have approached the outskirts of the Cavalry Rostrío to observe this phenomenon of nature. The main danger is that clay soil areas surrounding the gap, as not being firm and not be supported by rock, are at risk of slipping. This area is full of large and small sinkholes (soplaos) that experts say are the result of a process of dissolution of limestone that creates deep underground ducts, "and on the surface appear-called sinkholes, circular depressions that later may be subject to collapse processes of the surface material. These circular depressions, very symmetrical, are very common in Cantabria, and are witnesses surface karst processes being developed in depth, "as researchers have concluded the Department of Geology at UC. - Eldiariomontanes [Translated].
WATCH: Stunning images of the chasm near Rostrio.

See more images of this spectacular chasm HERE.

ANCIENT ALIENS: Season 4 - The Greys!

The History Channel continues its popular series on extraterrestrials, alien theories and ancient civilizations with season four of Ancient Aliens. The following video playlist constitutes program three, entitled The Greys.

The Grey Alien race of extra-terrestrials has become a pop-culture phenomenon that continues to capture the imagination and attention of governments, citizens and all who have ever uttered the word abduction! - History Channel.
WATCH: The Greys.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Lujiazui is Cracking Up - Area in Shanghai City is Sinking at a Rate of About 1.5 Centimeters Per Year!

A crack up to 10 meters long on a main road in Lujiazui sparked safety concerns in the skyscraper area yesterday after pictures were posted online. The crack was spotted at an exit of the Shanghai World Financial Center opposite the under-construction Shanghai Tower.

"It has been here for a while," a member of staff at a hotel in the financial zone told Shanghai Daily. However, the company that is building the Shanghai Tower said the crack was normal subsidence during the construction of the tower's foundation ditch, which is "under control." So far the underground structure of the building has been finished and the element that caused the subsidence should be gone, the company said last night via the Shanghai government's official microblog account. Repairs should be started soon once the rainy weather improves, the company said. Construction of the Shanghai Tower, which will be the tallest building in China by 2014, has been strictly monitored since the beginning, and this would not end despite the completion of the foundation, the company added.

The Lujiazui area, which is now experiencing massive construction both above and beneath the ground, has long been at the center of debate over whether construction work could lead to subsidence problems. Below ground, five underground passages and a transit hall are being built to connect the skyscrapers and Metro stations. Above ground, the Shanghai Tower has reached a height of more than 200 meters of its intended 632 meters. Experts said that the loose earth structure in Shanghai and improper construction methods were very likely to trigger subsidence, especially uneven subsidence, which is more dangerous. Xu Liping, general engineer of Shanghai Geotechnical Investigations & Design Institute, said: "The soil in Shanghai is soft and the construction around or under is likely to cause cracks in certain places."

But Xu said that determining the cause of the current crack could be a complicated process that not only required the involvement of relevant parties around the crack but a calculation of the influence of the construction work as well. Shanghai is taking active steps to tackle its subsidence problem. One way that has proved effective is to pump back groundwater drained during construction. Cracks and cave-ins, caused by subsidence, have frequently made headlines in the city. In October last year, a large piece of the road surface at a busy intersection collapsed in downtown Zhabei District. Local urban maintenance department officials said loose sand and earth beneath was to blame. Vice Mayor Zhang Xuebing has told local lawmakers the city is controlling the number of projects, with no more than 10 percent of roads affected by construction at any one time. - Shanghai Daily.

Lujiazui is falling down, falling down.  The price to pay for having one of the world’s most iconic skylines, Shanghai’s Lujiazui is suffering from an increasing number of mini “fault lines” radiating outwards in every direction. Pictured above is one netizen’s documentation of the phenomenon, particularly near Shanghai’s most iconic buildings: the World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Tower. As progress continues on China’s future tallest skyscraper, the Shanghai Tower (situated directly across the street from the current cracks), one can only hope the entire area doesn’t end up collapsing in on itself. Since 2003, Shanghai has been sinking under the weight of tons of concrete and steel at a rate of about 1.5 centimeters per year, prompting city officials to limit the construction of some skyscrapers. Over the past century, it has sunk over 2 meters. - China Smack.

DELUGE: Heavy Rains and Floods Demolishes Trubia River Bridge Into the Nalon River in Northern Spain!

Heavy rains have caused about Asturias late on several incidents, including leading the collapse of part of Trubia River bridge in the town of the same name, belonging to Oviedo, and the overflowing of the river Nalón in Ferreras (Candamo) , which has forced local road cut CD-2.

In addition, water has forced the evacuation of two homes in El Entrego (San Martín del Rey Aurelio). In the Grand Hospital Covián Arriondas (Parres), which was flooded in 2010, some patients have been moved to higher plants and other health centers as a preventive measure Gijón, reports the Government Delegation in Asturias. Persistent rains have caused floods in Asturian rivers, including the Trubia, that caused by the force of the current demolition of one of the pillars of that bridge. This is a bridge linking the district of Catalans with the church, but the area has not been isolated as it has road communication alternatives.

Moreover, today evicted two houses in the neighborhood of San Vicente in the town of El Entrego and a road has been cut in the Lada (Langreo) also by heavy rains. The City of San Martín del Rey Aurelio yesterday began contacts with the Ministry of Environment of the Principality and the company Tragsa to analyze the causes that led to flooding in the San Vicente and find the technical solution to this problem. In parallel, municipal workers are using pumps yesterday to bail the water has flooded the area. Other incidents have been in the last hours of minor cuts primarily related to roads, landslides and flooding of low land and garages. President of the Principality of Asturias, Francisco Alvarez Cascos, moved last night at Arriondas Hospital facilities to follow the evolution of the situation caused by heavy rains in the area in the last few hours, reports 112.

Alvarez-Cascos, along with the head of the eastern Asturias Fire, checked the level of achievement in the water near the hospital, inquiring about the action taken. The president visited the Principality to hospitals accompanied by the center manager. In the Government office yesterday formalized a follow up meeting to discuss the possible impact and evolution of rainstorms suffering Asturias, with the delegate of the Government, Gabino de Lorenzo, in front. - La Region [Translated].

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: 550 Pits Forms in the Hunan Province in China Over 3 Years - Affecting Agriculture and Houses in the Region!

Over 550 pits of various sizes found in the past three years have seriously affected the agriculture and dilapidated houses in central China's Hunan Province.

The last three years in Hunan Province, China in an area of ​​central pits of various sizes arise as more than 550, the area of ​​agriculture and housing is affecting retirement. Pits have dotted Yuejiaqiao Twon in Yiyang City of Hunan, with big ones having a diameter of seven to eight meters and small ones two to three meters. Pit the northern city of Hunan Yiyang are scattered around the wejachaoh area. 7 ~ 8m diameter of a large pit, and the diameter of the smaller ones are 2 ~ 3m. Local villagers said these pits have come into existence since 2008 and new ones would appear every day in the past six months. Since 2008, local residents were born of this pit, the last six months said that every day you've got a new pit.

Varying in depth, most of the pits concentrate by rivers and in fields, and have occupied more than half of the town's arable land. This has seriously affected the local farming and irrigation. The depth can vary. Sides of the river, most concentrated in the pit fields, and more than half the region's agricultural land is occupied state. This pit in the region severely affected agriculture and irrigation. What is worse, the land subsidence has cracked many houses and forced many residents to leave their homes. To make matters worse, due to subsidence of many homes, many residents of the gold gamyeonseo was forced to leave their homes.

Xiong Yuliang's heart still fluttered with fear when he recalled the shake hitting his 10-year-old house this January, and he thought it was an earthquake. Mr. Kaohsiung wiryang last January, have looked rattled when two 10-year-old home if you think your heart is still off my feet for fear chuckle. At that time he thought that the earthquake happened. "I heard cracking sound and we stormed out because we thought it was earthquake," said he. Resident of Kaohsiung Wiryang: "He heard something cracking. We knew that the earthquake jumped at home. "

The houses of 126 families were already dilapidated by these pits and some houses may collapse any minute. 126 households who lived in the pit because of the demolished houses were already some houses can collapse at any moment is the situation. Land and Resources Department of Yiyang City blamed this on low ground water level and locals thought it was a nearby mine that pumped out too much ground water to extract coal made it so. Transfer of the Ministry of Land, the city argued that because of the low groundwater level. Residents near the mine to dig coal because of too much groundwater is peonaetgi are wondering. "The coal mine pumped too much ground water and made the water level too low," said Zhong Meiliang. Resident of Meyiryang: "Mine too much groundwater peonaemyeonseo side excessively lowered groundwater levels." - Reuters [Translated].

THE DELUGE: Australia Floods Isolate Outback Residents - Forcing Mass Evacuations in the Interior East!

A slow-moving tide weeks in the making is still isolating people and forcing evacuations in the interior east of Australia.

NASA satellite imagery from Feb. 18 shows flooding on flood plains in eastern Australia.
The flow of rivers is mostly from east to west (right to left), with streams converging east
of Bourke, on the Darling River. The New South Wales-Queenland border cuts across
the image. (NASA/Earth Observatory)
Thursday, evacuation warnings were given to people living in Bourke and Brewarrina, New South Wales, the Australian ABC news website said on Friday. Brewarrina was likely to become isolated, ABC added. Upstream, the formerly isolated towns of Walgett and Collarenebri become accessible as flood waters began to recede. Partial assess was restored at Lightning Ridge. The flood crest is not forecast to reach Bourke until late next week, when major flooding is expected on the Darling River. Authorities have closed the swollen Darling River to motorized boating, be it recreational or commercial, ABC said. Not all flooding impact has been negative, however. Some graziers, quoted on ABC's website, have said that the flooding, by restoring ground water on the flood plains, will boost their production going forward.

Flooding of the Darling River and its major tributaries was sparked by abnormally heavy rain that fell between mid-January and early February. At the time, flash flooding and flooding of smaller rivers caused substantial loss of property for homes and farms in northwest New South Wales and southern Queensland. Flooding of the Darling is not going to end any time, so, rather, it will keep rolling slowly, inexorably downstream. Take Menindee, where a major flood crest is forecast for mid-April, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) website said. At Burtundy, above where the Darling meets the Murray River, flooding is not expected to peak until early to mid-May, according to the BoM. - Accu Weather.
WATCH: Flooding in Australia.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Massive Mud Pool in Malaysia Draws Hordes of Wildlife and People - Volcanic Pool Overflows to About the Size of a Football Field?!

A rare phenomenon is attracting a beeline of "visitors" at the mud volcano in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu.

Volcanic mud has been spewing at least twice to three times more actively than normal since last week. This has created an overflow of the sulphuric substance that has spread over an area as big as a football field. Apart from excited guests at the nearby Tabin Wildlife Resort, the number of wild animals, too, appears to have increased at the mud pool. (Volcanic mud is believed to contain curative properties with iodine, bromine, calcium and magnesium. According to Wikipedia, since the mud solution has no significant toxic substance, it is used as a curative agent for mud baths at spas. Mud baths have existed for thousands of years and can now be found in high-end spas in many countries of the world.)

The mineral-rich pool serves as a salt lick for animals at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, including endangered species such as the Sumatran rhino and the pygmy elephants. On a normal day, mud would continuously spew from within the pool and dry up in a day or two once it spills over. Last week, however, according to a wildlife ranger who declined to be named, it was rather active judging by the overflow. "Earlier last week, we saw it to be more active and when we returned a few days later, the mud had flowed over a big area," he said, adding that people and animals had suddenly started coming to the reserve in droves. Nestled amid 120,500ha of dipterocarp rainforest and tropical plants, some of which are rich in medicinal and therapeutic values, the reserve is a popular haunt for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Besides the rhinoceroses and elephants, it is also home to the clouded leopard, sambar deer, exotic wild birds and the orangutan. - New Strait Times.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Swarm - 131 Tremors Have Occurred in Gujarat in India Since February 1st!

At least seven low intensity tremors were reported in the state on Tuesday. Four occurred in Saurashtra, two in Kutch region and one near Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited's (SSNNL) dam in south Gujarat. There were no reports of any casualties or damage because of them, sources said.

Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) officials said a tremor of a magnitude measuring 1.3 on the Richter scale was reported at 30 km north-east from SSNNL dam in south Gujarat region at 11.30 am. They said the magnitude of a tremor experienced near Gondal in Rajkot district was 2.5 on the Richter scale.

On February 19, a tremor of 3.1 magnitude on the Richter scale occurred near Khambhat in Anand district, while another of 3.4 magnitude occurred near Bharuch during the period, the officials said. They said as many as 131 tremors have occurred in Gujarat since February 1 and they have mostly been in Saurashtra and Kutch region. - Times of India.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Disease Outbreak Kills More Than 4,000 Birds in New Zealand!

A suspected avian botulism outbreak in Christchurch's wetlands has killed more than 4000 birds, taking the death toll to above that from the Rena oil spill.

Increased sewage levels in the Bromley oxidation ponds, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and the eastern wetlands caused by the earthquake may be responsible for the outbreak, according to a conservation officer. In an email obtained by The Press, council ornithologist Andrew Crossland told council staff and conservation organisations that more than 10 per cent of the area's population had died due to the outbreak. The email, which used figures from December 20 last year, said that 3877 dead birds had been collected in the area. The worst-affected species were the paradise shelduck, which lost more than 85 per cent of its population (1415 birds), the mallard/grey duck (49 per cent, or 385 birds), and the grey teal duck (13 per cent, or 495 birds). The deaths meant there would be a "substantial decrease in numbers" in Avon-Heathcote and Bromley, as well as at "source areas and migration/dispersal destinations".

Several other significant species, including the scaup, shoveler and royal spoonbill, had also been suffered losses, "but not at levels that the population can't recover from in one to three years". Crossland said the death toll would have had a catastrophic effect on just about any other wetland complex in the country. However, the Avon-Heathcote and Bromley area was one of the top 10 national sites for wetland birds. Most species had lost less than 10 per cent of their population and would remain sustainable, he said. "If we can clean up carcasses, break the maggot cycle, and if this botulism outbreak continues its current downward trajectory, then pretty much everything is recoverable at this stage," Crossland said. North Canterbury Fish and Game officer Brian Ross said the outbreak was tragic, but could have been much worse. "In some cases in America, you're talking about hundreds of thousands of birds in one hit." Ross said increased sewage levels at the ponds and changes in water quality could have been responsible for the spread of the disease, caused by a toxin which thrives in shallow, warm water.

Delays in removing the dead birds may have increased the scale of the outbreak, he said. "The quicker you get onto a programme of breaking the cycle, the better, but there appears to have been a period of inaction or not recognising what was going on." In a statement, council city environment general manager Jane Parfitt said updated figures showed about 4300 birds had died. Parfitt said the council was working with the Conservation Department and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fish & Game to determine the cause of the deaths. Avian botulism appeared to be "the most likely cause", and officials were investigating how to minimise the spread of the disease. Parfitt said the rate of dead birds being picked up weekly had not been increasing, and the council was hopeful that the number of deaths would continue to decline. A council spokeswoman said Crossland could not speak about the situation, as he was not a spokesman. The council could not provide updated information about the number of dead birds from individual species, the spokeswoman said.

Thousands of birds are believed to have died and a North Island sanctuary for endangered and protected birds is under threat after the outbreak of a disease on the Piako River. On one day alone this week, 300 bird carcasses were found, and researchers believe the worst is yet to come. Avian botulism, which causes paralysis in birds, has spread throughout the area, near the Firth of Thames, for about a month. Fish & Game gamebird manager David Klee, who yesterday fronted a volunteer effort to collect carcasses and treat sick birds, said the victims included protected and endangered species and large numbers of gamebirds. A fisherman said thousands of birds had died. "And we've only covered a small amount of ground." The birds most commonly died of drowning or dehydration. The disease induces paralysis, which causes the neck to droop and bodily functions such as swallowing to shut down. There were unconfirmed reports that two protected birds were found suffering botulism symptoms at the Miranda Bird Sanctuary yesterday, about 10km north of where the disease was first detected. The only way to manage a botulism outbreak is by removing carcasses, and the disease would likely run its course in cooler weather. It cannot be contracted by humans. - Stuff.

EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: The International UFO Congress in Phoenix, Arizona!

If you're looking for something fun, not to mention out of this world, you're invited to attend this year's International UFO Congress.

Whether or not you believe there's life out there, these folks are in town to plead their case. "You have this whole group of people who are here you get to socialize. You get to share ideas, you get to hear stories. It's a great place to come and soak it all in," said event organizer Jason McClellan. Jeff Willes has been researching UFOs over the Valley for 25 years. "There's definitely something we're getting on video, nobody's really sure what it is, but there's something there," said Willes. The event features vendors selling everything from books and magazines to UFO documentaries and movies. A UFO film festival as well as guest speakers from all over the world are just a couple of the main attractions.

"It's always interesting to find out why they believe there's something to this. When they answer that question, that there are some very credible things out there," said organizer Alejandro Rojas. We even caught up with a gentleman from Colorado, who says he's been a believer since age 6, when he was visited by extraterrestrials. "I woke up in the morning, and I knew how to build a machine that would power itself, all based on counter-rotating magnetic fields," said believer Terence Danton. You don't have to take his word for it. Decide for yourself. The event runs until Sunday at Fort McDowell Conference Center and is open to the public." - KPHO.
WATCH: Previewing the International UFO Congress.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Tracing Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii - Strong and Unusual Seismic Swarm at the Upper SW Rift Zone Intensifies!

An unusual seismic swarm is occurring near the summit of Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i, and continues to increase as of today.

Recent earthquakes at Kilauea volcano (as of 24, February, 2012).
The Ka`oiki seismic swarm began about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Halema`uma`u Crater on 21 February and has produced more than 1000 quakes so far. Increased activity overnight included 4 magnitude 4+ earthquakes amongst more than 70 additional earthquakes in the past 24 hours. 78 earthquakes were strong enough to be located beneath Kilauea in the past day: 74 quakes were related to the earthquake swarm, 2 were within the upper east rift zone, and 2 were on south flank faults.

Some of the quakes were felt at the Hawaii volcano observatory where the shaking caused books fall off shelves, and minor damage was reported at the Volcano Golf Course, which is the closest inhabited area located about 3 km from the earthquakes' epicentre. The swarm could indicate a shallow intrusion of magma at the upper SW rift zone. Similar swarms have occurred in 1990, 1993, 1997, and 2006, some of which lasted up to several weeks. - Volcano Discovery.

MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?!

Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

Ontario, Canada
- 23rd of February, 2012.

Phoenix, Arizona - 9th of December, 2011.

Johor, Malaysia - 22nd of February, 2012.

Saint-Martin-d'Auxigny, France - 18th of January, 2010.

Buffalo, New York - 22nd of February, 2012.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Huge Sinkhole Swallows a Truck in Sabadell, Catalonia, Spain!

The van that has been engulfed in the tunnel in Sabadell.
A sinkhole has swallowed at 3.00 am this morning a small truck on the street Manuel de Falla, in the district of Can Rull de Sabadell, when for reasons still unknown a water pipe has burst and created a big hole. The van that was parked right next door, has fallen into the hole.

So instead have moved several provisions of the Bombers de la Generalitat, who have taken the vehicle from the hole and helped cut the water supply. The company responsible for servicing and the municipal officers have been commissioned to repair the fault. - El Periodico [Translated].

EXTREME WEATHER: Rising Water Spur Flood Fears for Jakarta!

As rain continues to fall across Bogor and the upstream area of the Ciliwung River, water at the Katulampa Dam reached dangerous levels on Sunday, spelling disaster for Jakarta if it continued to rise.

Water levels at the Katulampa Dam in Bogor reached dangerous levels on Sunday,
spelling disaster for Jakarta if it continued to rise.
Hendri Antoro, head of the data and information bureau of the Bogor Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), warned that Greater Jakarta was moving into high-intensity rainy season. He said the peak of the rainy season, initially forecast for mid-January to mid-February, had been delayed and was estimated to end sometime in early March. “The rain in the Greater Jakarta area has begun to rise to 42 millimeters and even up to 50 millimeters. This is before entering the peak of the rainy season,” Hendri said. He attributed the increased rains to the rising temperature of the surface of the Java Sea, a phenomenon he said was expected to continue until early March. In Bogor and its surrounding areas, the extreme weather has already seen above-average wind speed, high levels of rain and also lightning, said Djabariah, a forecaster at the Bogor BMKG office.

Bogor has experienced rains for the past week. Strong winds also damaged houses in three villages in the Cibinong subdistrict of Bogor on Saturday, displacing 52 families. Heavy rains also caused the banks of the Cijeruk River in Bogor to burst, inundating 57 houses with up to 50 centimeters of water, said Yous Sudrajat, who heads the Bogor Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD). At the Katulampa floodgate in Bogor, the alert status is now Level 4, up one from normal, as the water has reached dangerous levels of 70 centimeters while flowing at 62 cubic meters per second, said Andi Sudirman, the operator of the gate. The normal level of water at the gate is below 50 centimeters, but recent rains in Bogor have raised the level by 20 centimeters. “Our staff is on alert, monitoring the water’s height,” Andi said. He said the water could still rise to above 90 centimeters and flow at 113 cubic meters per second if the rains continued to fall in the upstream area of the Ciliwung River. “If rains continue over the Puncak area for the next two hours, we will enter the next alert level,” Andi said, referring to the upstream areas of the river.

Officials at the Katulampa gate have said that should the water there reach between 70 and 100 centimeters, the possibility of flooding downstream along the riverbanks of the Ciliwung would rise. High alert is sounded to areas downstream if the water reaches 200 centimeters. “If in Jakarta rains continue to fall, we will remain on alert for flooding,” Andi said. The Katulampa Dam is the first flood-control reservoir built to contain water from upstream areas. The Depok Dam is the last stop before water enters Jakarta. At the Depok Dam, the water was also at alert levels, rising over 180 centimeters. Rising water in several rivers in upstream regions in Bogor early on Sunday caused flooding in several areas. The Krukut River in South Jakarta flooded, inundating Pondok Labu.  Jatinegara and Kramat Jati in East Jakarta also saw flooding from the Ciliwung and the Kali Baru rivers. In 2002 and 2007, Jakarta was hit by massive flooding, prompting talk of a five-year cycle of major floods. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that the five-year cycle was a myth. - The Jakarta Globe.