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Jakarta Post

Illegal logging blamed for North Sumatra flooding

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Thu, July 12 2012   /  06:58 am

Uncontrolled illegal logging has been blamed for the flash floods in Pematang Siantar and Tapanuli Tengah, North Sumatra that have caused thousands of residents to flee their homes, some of which were submerged by floodwater 5 meters high.

Tapanuli Tengah Regent Raja Bonaran Situmeang said heavy downpours had caused the Sipan Sipahoras dam to overflow.

Situmeang said the Sipan Sipahoras dam could not accommodate any more rainwater because the forests alongside the dam had been destroyed.

“This disaster was solely caused by illegal logging. The forests have been destroyed so there are no longer any trees to absorb rainwater,” Situmeang told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

He admitted that illegal logging had been rampant in Tapanuli Tengah, adding that he was cooperating with police to tackle this problem. Situmeang confirmed the police had arrested seve...