Monday, April 04, 2005

Nias - Hinaku - Asu - Bawa

Click on the title to find a map of Nias and where the boats and needs are

Please report any findings of uplift or subsidence, special navigation hazards, current pressing humanitarian needs, on or around Nias, by using the comments button found at the bottom of the page.


Blogger Birdie said...

The Nias webpage

1:21 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...


Harbor Operational.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Port in lahewa operational, road usable to get access to northern areas (not sure how far at this stage).
The port in Telukdalem can be entered by boats up to 60 ton.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Telukdalem coastline altitude -01 meter, Asu and Bawa islands coastline altitude +01 meter.
Seems that the area of Simeulue-Hinakos is up-lifting while the Nias-Banyak is sinking underwater : Cathay Seas is looking for contacts in the
scientific community to have specialized advice on the matter. E-mails sent, waiting for answers...

11:51 AM  
Anonymous SurfAid said...

+ SurfAid assessments reveal there is no water left on both Asu and Bawa Islands. The wells have dried up completely as a result of the reef rising 1.5m.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

The wharf at Sirombu has been destroyed which hampers the possibility of large cargo drops.

4:54 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

Kerry Sieh says that if you dig 2 metres further down on Bawa wells, you should find water. Please comment back after someone tries this! thx Birdie

8:33 AM  
Anonymous rick said...

This location may interest Kerry.
Tanjung Onolimbu on SE coast of Nias.

Fault line seems to have ripped through a river delta.

Area south has dropped abot 2m, maybe more.

Took most of a village with it. Now under water.

Working to get things stable here.

Shelter is ok, just done medical and food.

Finishing cooking sets, tool sets

ps David, please save the images for
next update

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Kerry said...

YES, Birdie,

This sounds potentially very important!

We think there is a fault that comes on shore on the southeast coast of Nias.

If it ruptured, it will be important for understanding the response of our GPS stations on the islands on the Equator.

Thanks a million Rick.


6:05 AM  
Blogger Birdie said...

This would explain where and how the panic got started about Nias sinking.

We need the locals to understand that the soft soil in swamps/marshes/river beds settles in earthquakes. It shakes downward, because it is not firm hard ground.

Soft losse soils also amplify ground shaking, so, they felt the eq MUCH stronger here than anyone on firm soil. They must be more terrified than anyone for this reason.

Also, because of the river, the water table is higher there, and could account for some flooding if it was squeezed up out of the ground from the soil settling down.

This soft swampy soil creates subsidence. They need to rebuild on firmer, higher ground.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Petra said...

The coordinates on where the Endless Sun boat sunk just out from Afulu, Nias are :

Degrees – 97º
Minutes – 14’
Seconds – 22”

Degrees – 1º
Minutes – 14’
Seconds – 57”

CAHAYA ABADI had just finished its fourth rice delivery when it hit an uncharted reef off Afulu village.

Can someone please get us the exact coordinates?

We need to chart this!

6:15 AM  
Anonymous rick said...

We are out handphone range so pls ask Bulolo and Rendoes to mail us.
Have been in the Onolimbu area for the last two days.
Most of the coastal part of Tagaule village submerged during the quake. 58 homes underwater and the rest half buried in mud.

The locals describe great cracks opening in the earth as they ran from their buildings and water gushing up to engulf them. A mile up the coast no subsidence but a 2m high tsunami just after the quake that took out most of the beach front houses. Almost all houses along the coast have been destroyed and a town of 350 will have to be relocated as now a tidal zone. Some parts seem to have sunk over 2m, maybe as much as 3m.

Some villages have had tents heli droped in but very little food. They do have sago and natural shelter materials but transport is very difficult. Nearest village with any kind of road is 8km through the swamps. River is silted up and bocked with trees that came down cutting that form of transport. No boats capable of the trip to GS left afloat.

We have done medical and most of the distribution now and will move south tomorrow.

Fear for these communities when the rains come. Area is dirt poor and the people very worn out and some seem quite desperate. These people are terrified of future tsunamis. They have nowhere to run. In one village they had made rough timber rafts. The photo shows the most advanced model built by the richest man in town. None of the others had drums in the corners. Tsunami escape vehicles. Heartbreaking to know that they would be useless yet the best that could be done. Feel we could provide a variation on the modified tents we built in Lho Kruet. With bigger drums and better platforms. Small investment would provide great peace of mind for these remote swamp villages.

We had some trouble at first with arguments among villages over our distribution plan but found a way to calm everyone down. Got all the villages to sit separately and then sing traditional songs in rotation. Worked a treat. Pass it on to others.

Where humor is impossible try music.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous SAI said...

Team Two: Conducted assessments on the islands of Asu, Imana and Hinako.

+ Water is the major issue here. All wells are dry and villagers are too scared to get into the wells to dig further for fear another earthquake or tremor will hit. AusAID/Red R engineers have raised concerns that digging deeper may hit the salt water table.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Scuzz said...

i basically just checked the batus, southern and western nias.

i thought that south east nias had dropped a small amount, we spend a bit of time in one village and i know the usual tides, while we were there we had big tide changes 1.3 to 0.2 and the 0.2 tide was not as shallow as it used to be, the high tide was also deeper than before. it is not a significant amount.

teluk dalam is also a tiny bit deeeper i think, this seemed fairly unchanged.

just a few miles west in lagundri bay, the reef is definately more exposed, i would say about a metre, the waves have changed significantly and now you can walk out a lot further than before. they had built up breakwalls over the years to protect erosion on the their beaches and at full tides and big swells the waves would was into the camp, now they dont even come close, i guess a metre uplift.

this bay alone had a major tsunami this time, much stronger than last time, but just one time, the wave did alot more damage than the shake, and made it further inland.

going north, the hinakos and sirombu area are much higher out of the water, easily 2 metres, as far up to wunga it was like this.

it must have happened very quickly as many fish, eels, snakes and a sting ray were left high and dry on the now exposed reefs.

good luck with your findings.

ps, i think if anything the telos dropped a very small amount

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tue, 19/4/2005 22:16:23 | Mjon van Oers (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Foreign volunteers free to stay as long as they wish on Nias


Sumber: Jakarta Post

Jakarta (NiasIsland.Com)

Saw this article about Nias and volunteers in the Jakarta Post 16/4/05. Thought some of you might like to read.

Foreign volunteers free to stay as long as they wish on Nias

National News - April 16, 2005

Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post/Medan

The North Sumatra provincial administration, which is in charge of disaster mitigation on Nias island, on Thursday announced that it would give ample time for the foreign relief workers involved in humanitarian relief efforts to stay in the area, and gave assurances as regards their safety.

A spokesman for the North Sumatra Natural Disaster Coordinating Unit (Satkorlak), R.E. Nainggolan, said that the foreign volunteers in Nias had helped considerably to ease the burden on Satkorlak in conducting relief efforts and their presence was still greatly needed.

Nainggolan said that based on these considerations, the provincial administration had decided not to set any time limit for the foreign volunteers until the situation in Nias had improved.

According to Nainggolan, the decision had been taken due to the fact that Nias, unlike Aceh, was not a conflict area and that the foreign volunteers would be in no danger.

"It's up to them how long they want to stay in Nias. We will not limit their stay. Their presence is still needed, as they have proven themselves to be totally dependable in helping victims over the past two weeks. The disaster mitigation efforts would definitely be slow without their help," Nainggolan told The Jakarta Post.

Nainggolan added that the number of foreigners who had arrived in Nias since the disaster stood at 446, and that they were drawn from eight United Nations organizations and 71 non-governmental organizations. There were also 36 foreign journalists in the area.

Most of them came from Singapore, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Croatia, Germany, France, Malaysia, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Hungary, Norway, New Zealand and China. There were also 520 local volunteers from 41 organizations doing relief work in Nias, which was recently rocked by an 8.7-magnitude earthquake that killed hundreds of people on Nias and on surrounding islands.

Nainggolan said that while the number of foreign volunteers kept increasing, some had also returned home. Those who had left were from Hungary, Singapore and Australia.

According to Nainggolan, all of the foreign relief workers on Nias are being coordinated by the United Nations Organization Coordinating Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), assisted by three liaison officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He added that every foreign volunteer doing humanitarian work in Nias would be treated well.

"We will treat them like members of our own family and their safety will be the full responsibility of our security personnel," said Nainggolan, who is also the head of the North Sumatra Information and Communications Agency.

Polonia Airport Immigration Unit director Sigit Roesdianto said that most of the foreign volunteers had been issued visas on arrival or short-stay entry permits. About 190 of them had already returned home.

Nainggolan said that Satkorlak was grateful for the large amount of foreign aid donated to the quake victims in Nias. To date, hundreds of tons of foreign aid from a number of donor countries had arrived on Nias

Original message:

Fitness Aid International
(FAI) Foundation

3:46 AM  
Anonymous UNJLC said...

* Four weeks after the 28 March earthquake electricity has been restored to small areas of the island, however, four districts : ALASA, LAHEWA, LOTU, LOLOFITU MOI remain without power. In the south of NIAS, all districts are without electricity supply except for the government offices.

* The national electricity company (PLN) has sent a 1.000 Kw generator to be installed 4 kilometers from the centre of TELUK DALAM. It is expected to be operational in the coming days.

* WFP is concerned with the condition of the road and bridge network in NIAS which is in imminent danger of collapse. It is therefore proceeding with the sourcing and delivery of bailey bridges to the governmental authorities in the effected area.

* Government of North SUMATRA has chosen to handle the entire operation of reception (probably at Belawan port) and installation of the bailey bridges in the appropriate locations in NIAS.
Banda Aceh

* There have been 2 consignments of bridges for ACEH since the tsunami. The first consignment of NATO bridges supervised by the Royal Netherlands Army arrived Friday 15 Apr 05 at Malayajati port. ( 30 x 20' ISO containers and a large amount of break-bulk cargo) TNI took delivery of the bridges at the quay side.

* The second consignment of DFID bridges is yet to be delivered.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous UNJLC said...

The security situation in NIAS remains unchanged. The main security threats on NIAS remain the potential for looting of food items; and premeditated theft of food and non-food items.

* 25 April 2005, thefts:

* At approximately 14.30hrs, a crowd looted Ken Him ship cargo which was carrying Singaporean Red Cross food items.

* At approx. 15hrs, at the old port in NIAS, locals tried to break into WFP-chartered vessel, the LCT Sukses, carrying rice and sardines.

* Local police have been placed on guard.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous rick said...

by Electric Lamb Mission on Sunday, May 1 @ 2:51 AM

BATAVIA is anchored off Lahusa, Nias. Unloading went smoothly today with good cooperation on the beach until our local workers returned from lunch. They had been drinking tuak (palm wine) and they were completely drunk. Paul was organising our loading on the beach and he was surprises at the change in atmosphere when the afternoon shift started. All the workers wanted to do was argue and shout. Despite this we unloaded over 15 tons of aid. Another part of the Nias jigsaw falls into place. Tomorrow we will start loading at 6am.

NWM team treated over 100 patients at an afternoon clinic 2km west of Gomo township and tomorrow we will head up into the mountains to an area with a population of over 12,000 who have not seen any medical support at all since the quake.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous OCHA said...

OCHA Situation Report No. 6*

Indonesian Earthquake
Occurred on 28 March 2005


The 28 March earthquake caused extensive damage to the infrastructure on Nias Island, rendering the main ring road and numerous secondary roads impassable to all traffic, except motorcycles.

However, in the past week road conditions in Nias have improved and relief aid deliveries are now primarily undertaken by road, although air deliveries continue for the northwest part of the island where access is still limited.

Approximately 1790 MT of relief goods have been distributed by 55 IOM trucks throughout Nias since 28 March.

As of 21 April, the total reported dead resulting from the 28 March earthquake stands at 905 people: 845 people in North Sumatra Province and 60 people in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province (NAD). The number of IDPs stands at an estimated 106,800 people: approximately 60,500 people in North Sumatra Province and 46,300 people in NAD.

A UNDP team is preparing to travel to Nias and Simeulue to assess possible contributions by the agency to the recovery effort, including an assessment of the port and the extent of rehabilitation needed. UNDP was already planning to support the construction of 1,500 homes in Simeulue that were damaged prior to the 28 March quake.

Food and Nutrition

In Nias, WFP hosts food coordination meetings twice a week to discuss ongoing and planned distributions, and to meet with NGO partners. Blanket distributions have been adjusted to benefit the approximately 117,000 beneficiaries directly affected by the earthquake (house and/or livelihood destroyed) and who live in the poorest communities.

Following assessment visits to Singkil and Sibolga/Pandang (Sibolga town and Sibuluan camps), a one time, two-week ration will be provided to approximately 20,000 IDPs.

The Emergency Needs Assessment (ENA) and CARE conducted a joint assessment on Simeulue Island, where WFP is also assessing the need for a school-feeding programme. The ENA will complete the survey in early May on the longer-term impact of the earthquake and its implications on food aid on the island.

WHO in Nias reports an outbreak of acute diarrhoea in Alasa Sub-District (Desa Tugala Oyo) affecting approximately 80 families. One man has died and nearly 50 people are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting. Several people are in critical condition. Tests confirm there is no cholera outbreak at present, nevertheless, WHO is sending a cholera kit to Nias in case of future outbreaks.

An Indonesian Army medical unit is monitoring cases of diarrhoea and skin disease in isolated areas of southwest Simeulue.

A measles vaccination campaign began on 16 April in collaboration with the Provincial Health Office to benefit children 3 months to 15 years old primarily in IDP camps. As of 19 April, 767 people had been immunised in 13 IDPs sites in Gunung-Sitoli Sub-District.
On 20 April, WHO sent 5,000 blister packs of malaria medicines to the Nias District Health Office. SurfAid will distribute bed nets and hold malaria prevention activities in

Nias Barat and Teluk Dalam sub-districts. Several sites in Nias have been fogged as a preventive step against mosquitoes and malaria.

As of 18 April, 219 national and 122 foreign medical staff members have been deployed to Nias. However, health remains a concern in the southern part of the island where a stronger NGO medical presence is required to meet current needs.

UNFPA is providing 25 midwifery kits to the Provincial Health Office in Nias and is assessing the need for similar kits in Simeulue.

Water and Sanitation

OXFAM reports that water provision in most areas of Nias is now above the minimum SPHERE standards, with the exception of Teluk Dalam. OXFAM is now distributing 333,000 litres of water daily in Gunung Sitoli to 22,200 people at 33 water points around the city.


UNHCR has been requested by the Governor of North Sumatra Province and the Bupati (Head of District) on Nias Island to provide shelter and non-food-item assistance. UNHCR has placed an order for 2,000 lightweight tents along with 5,000 plastic sheets, 5,000 jerry cans, 3,500 kitchen sets and 3 Rubhalls (warehouse tents) from its emergency stockpiles to be delivered to Medan, from where they will be immediately distributed to Nias.

A UNHCR assessment along the west coast and in the town of Sirombu, Nias Island found that the local population has moved inland and is no longer willing to live by the sea. Other UN agencies and NGOs conducting assessment in other parts of Nias and Simeulue Island have found similar situations of IDPs living in spontaneous settlements in the hills. The government plans to relocate communities reluctant to move back to the coast. For example, in Sirombu plans have been made to move the town approximately 2-3 km inland, which would still allow fishermen to commute to the coast by bicycle.


IOM is implementing a market revitalization programme in Nias and Simeulue that would facilitate the construction of approximately 1,000 market stalls. IOM is identifying people who lost their homes and livelihoods and providing them with carpentry skills to participate in a cash-for-work programme.

Logistical Bottlenecks

UNHAS continues its operations in Nias and Simeulue with the Twin Otters flying scheduled flights to Nias and Simeulue 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for Nias, and Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for Simeulue). Due to increasing demands for travel on the route between Meulaboh to Calang, UNHAS has revised its schedule which now allows travel on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

For the latest comprehensive report regarding logistics please see UNJLC's latest situation report at

USEFUL WEBSITES (National Coordination Board for Natural Disaster Management) (Department of Social Affairs) (Department of Health) (National Information Board-Ministry of Information and Communication) (Information-Republic Indonesia)

For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA-Geneva Desk Officers, as indicated below, of bilateral relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding value by item.

Together with further information on other ongoing emergencies, this situation report is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Aid agencies are encouraged to use the Virtual On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (OSOCC) at to share information on assistance and coordinate activities.

MAP - Indonesia: Earthquake - Situation map

Telephone: +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23/06 28
Telephone: +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23/06 28
In case of emergency only:Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Desk Officers:

Ms. Hannah Entwisle/Mr. Michael Meier
Direct Tel. 41-22-917 1155/1159
Press contact:
(GVA): Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.): Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917 367 51 26

* A number of Situation Reports on the Indonesian Earthquake of 28 March were issued directly by the OCHA Office in Indonesia, and are available on Reliefweb.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous rick on batavia said...

by Electric Lamb Mission on Wednesday, May 4 @ 9:07 AM

Relief supplies have been unloaded without incident over the past 4 days with most material being trucked to Gomo. Road conditions have deteriorated due to rain but bridges are being repaired and the river gorge cliff edge is now a lot safer.

Trucks are very difficult to rent and unreliable and afternoon loading has to be moved constantly from beach to beach to avoid the drunken minority who turn up every day.

Aus Aid supplies have been sent to support the following villages/subregions:
Lahusa - zinc and timber for reconstruction of junior highschool
Gomo - zinc and timber for reconstruction of senior highschool
Gomo Camat - 6 tons WFP rice, CARE tents, gen-set
Gomo heath support - gen set
Lahusa area - tool kits, wheelbarrows, cooking equipment, jerry cans and buckets.

Lamps, tool kits, wheelbarrows, tents, cooking equipment, jerry cans and other to:
Lawa Lawa Luo Gomo
Sifalago Susua
Siforo Asi Gomo & Orahili Gomo

North West Medical teams have conducted health clinics in the following villages:
Lawa Lawa Luo Gomo, (pop 2,720) 94 patients treated
Sifalago Susua (pop 7,000 incl nearby kampungs) 392 patients treated
Siforo Asi Gomo & Orahili Gomo (population 7,500)73 patients treated

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aid worker tells of Nias sinking

A Melbourne lawyer has made an extraordinary escape after the cargo ship he was on was smashed to pieces and sank in dangerous seas off the coast of Sumatra.

James Bean was among a group of five volunteers from the Indonesian aid group IDEP taking food aid to the earthquake-stricken island of Nias on a wooden cargo boat.

The boat, which had 10 local crew members, sank after hitting coral.

"We were hit again by coral, pitching violently to such an extent that the mast was slapping on the surface of the water," said Mr Bean, who is from the Melbourne suburb of Elwood.

"We were thrown about very violently, hitting things and just being thrown about like childen's toys and then once the captain gave the order to abandon ship we all abandoned ship."

Mr Bean is recovering in the capital of Nias, Gunungsitoli, after swimming ashore and walking more than a kilometre across coral.

All the aid workers and crew members survived the sinking, bruised and battered but with no major injuries.

Mr Bean says after everyone was ordered to abandon the ship by its captain, he was not sure they would survive.

"The boat was really getting a pummelling from the swell and I was really concerned that I might not make it, but I was more concerned that the Indonesians aboard, even despite them being sailors, often can't swim very well," he said.

"I was concerned, that they were going to perish.

"Of course, the captain was the last to leave and it was touch and go for everyone, it was a terrifying experience."
'It sucks you back in'

Mr Bean says that when the boat sank, he was very concerned about getting to the life vests, which were obstructed by debris. He eventually managed to get the drawer open and get them out.

"Everything happened so quickly - you have no sense of time at all," he said. "We were all screaming at each other and looking out for people and tyring to get life vests in people's hands and trying to get people out of rooms."

He says once he hit the water, he had to fight hard to make it away from the ship.

"It's such a big boat, when it moves in the water so aggressively it sucks you back in," he said. "It creates its own current and it was pulling me back into the boat and I was exhausted.

"And finally I managed to get a bit of swell behind me and I bodysurfed into the reef, by which time the entire village of Afulu had come out.

"They all just ran past us. No-one virtually asked us how we were, whether we needed assistance. Everybody ran onto the coastline and proceeded to harvest the contents of the hull which has spilt out after it had capsized several times."
'Reduced to kindling'

Mr Bean says the ship was pummelled.

"All in all the ship was reduced to kindling within an hour," he said.

Mr Bean says those on board are all battered and bruised after the ordeal and one man may have broken a finger and another a rib.

"Some of us are more shellshocked than others," he said.

He says the ship sank while the captain was negotiating a channel made dangerous by earthquake damage to the seabed, after the volunteers had made a drop-off at the village of Afulu on Nias's north-western coast.

The ship made it into the narrow mouth that enters the bay at Afulu but encountered trouble with strong winds and currents on the way out.

"The entire seabed and even the land as well has been corrugated - it is very unpredictable," Mr Bean said.

"We struck an outcropping of coral and that just ripped into the hull and the captain increased the speed of the vessel."

2:40 PM  
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11:37 PM  

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