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Heavy storms to keep ships in harbors

Breaking Earth News
The government has renewed calls for ships and boats not to set sail in the next few days following warnings of extreme weather and high waves from the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency. The no-sail warnings were valid throughout this week and could be renewed. The ministry issued its first warnings two weeks ago. In bad-weather warnings issued on Tuesday, they said three- to five-meter-high waves could hit several parts of Indonesia because of seasonal monsoon winds expected to last until the end of this year. "Ships and boats should not set sail in the next two days because they might be swept away by high tides," a meteorology and geophysics expert said on Wednesday. He said the Java Sea would be hit by waves as high as three and five meters, while the Makassar Strait and Bali Sea might see waves with heights between 0.5 and 3.5 meters. Waters in the southern part of Sumatra and in the south of Nusa Tenggara could be hit by up to four-meter-high waves, while the waters to the south of East Java might see 0.5 to 2.5-meter waves. The agency said the predicted waves would likely be caused by the West Monsoon wind, a seasonal wind that occurs when atmospheric pressure is high across the Asian continent and low across Australia. Mariners should also stay alert for severely low tides, which might hamper ships from harboring and loading. Waters in Surabaya's Tanjung Perak harbor receded to minus-170 centimeters on Wednesday and were predicted to rise only by 10 centimeters today. On Dec. 23, a tugboat pulling a coal barge was overturned near Bali as it sailed from South Kalimantan to Cilacap, Central Java. In September, the BMG also warned vessels against sailing in the Indian Ocean, including waters around the Mentawai islands and the coastal areas of West Sumatra, due to extreme weather. Passenger ferries plying the Mentawai-Padang route continue to operate despite the warning, but no accidents have been reported. One of the most noted sea tragedies was the sinking of the Senopati Nusantara ferry in the Java Sea on Dec. 30, 2006, after it was reportedly hit by dangerous waves. This accident claimed the lives of more than 300 passengers.
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