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Jakarta Post

Ritual held to expedite search of drowning victims in Flores

  • Markus Makur

    The Jakarta Post

East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara   /   Mon, February 27, 2017   /  06:30 pm
Ritual held to expedite search of drowning victims in Flores Members of Surabaya's division of the National Search and Rescue Team (Basarnas) look for missing crew members after a boat collision on Nov. 21, 2016 in Tuban regency waters, East Java. (Courtesy of Basarnas Surabaya/File)

A search and rescue team on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara was still searching for two victims who likely drowned in Wae Musur dam in Ranamese district, East Manggarai regency, on Monday while locals accompanied the search with a customary ritual.

Watu Mori villagers and notable figures hit gongs and traditional percussion instruments around the dam in hope it would help the team find the victims.

East Manggarai Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Antonius Dergong said Monday the victims were Firman Y. Saputra, 18, a student of state senior high school SMAN 1 Borong and Ferianus Radus, 18, a Watu Mori villager.

Dergong said the two teenagers were swimming in a river near the dam on Sunday with friends. A friend of the two, Alvian, was then carried away by a current, where the two tried to save him. Both of them are still missing, while Alvian survived and was being treated in a community health center on Monday.

The search and rescue team had deployed a diver on Sunday evening but to no avail because of a lack of visibility. The search continued Monday but the murky water hampered operations. The strong undercurrent in the dam also posed difficulties. (evi)

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