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Smooth Sailing Ahead

Indonesia's Forecasters Claim the Worst is Over Following Several Months of Stormy Weather.

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Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency reports that the high seas and nasty weather that have plagued Bali in recent weeks will soon be at an end. As reported by Tempo Interaktif, Furqon, an official of the Agency, said on March 17, 2008, "waves will be at a maximum of 3 meters, and that only in the southern part of the Island."

Furqon went on to explain the wind speeds have reduced and the cyclonic and convergent winds are no longer an influence on the weather for Bali. The forecaster also said that waves with a height of 2-3 meters that have threatened fishing boats and tugs are now limited to the water south of Banten and the Sangihe Taulaud islands in the Halmahera Sea.

Waves of 1.25 Ė 2 meters will be encountered in the waters off Western Sumatra, the Sunda straits, the southern waters off West Java until western Nusa Tenggara, the Natuna Sea, the waters east of the Riau islands, the Sulawesi Sea, the Maluku Sea, the Seram Sea, the water off northern Papua, and the Arafuru sea. Waves of this height, according to Furgon, are only a problem for local fishing boats.

The signaling that severe weather across Indonesia is on the decline is welcome news. Unusually large waves and high winds have played havoc on Indonesian shipping during the first 3 months of 2008, been blamed for several mishaps at sea and forced fisherman to remain in port. High seas have also disrupted the power grid for Bali and Java, preventing ships carrying coal supplies for state-owned power plants from replenishing fuel stocks.

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