Archipelago

Coastal erosion sweeps
away houses, trees

A roof over his head: A member of the search and rescue team carries the debris of a building, which was destroyed by waves in Samas Beach in Bantul, Yogyakarta, on Tuesday. (Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)
A roof over his head: A member of the search and rescue team carries the debris of a building, which was destroyed by waves in Samas Beach in Bantul, Yogyakarta, on Tuesday. (Antara/Sigid Kurniawan)

Two houses were swept away and five were damaged while it is feared that dozens of others will experience the same fate as coastal erosion continues to hit Samas Beach in Srigading, Sanden, Bantul regency, Yogyakarta.

“This is the worst erosion we’ve experienced in the last 10 years,” Sadino,local neighboring unit (RT) head, said on Tuesday.

He said worsening erosion had shortened the distance between the housing complex and the beach from 100 meters to only tens of meters.

Mugari, another resident, said that erosion was worse during high tide.

According to Mugari, hundreds of trees such as pandanus and casuarinas, have also been wiped away by the erosion.

“The regreening plants have all been wiped out. There is nothing to protect the area when the tide is high,” said Mugari, adding that the trees were the result of regreening activities carried out by local residents over the last five years.

Separately, Bantul Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Dwi Daryanto said that his agency had applied an emergency response system to deal with the impacts of the worsening coastal erosion.

“The two affected families have been evacuated to a secure place. Dozens of others are prepared to relocate,” said Dwi while visiting the affected area on Tuesday.

Dwi said that his agency was currently readying a location to shelter evacuated families. ”If the tides remain high and the erosion persists, we will relocate the people,” he said.

Erosion in the southern Bantul coastline has increasingly become an issue of concern over the last two years, during which thousands of trees have been swept away. In 2012 alone, over 50 semi-permanent buildings were also wiped away.

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