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Indonesia’s poor bear brunt of deadly tsunami | Indonesia

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Banten, Indonesia – Ahmad Hidayat’s smile seemed strangely incongruous given the mess that lay around him.

I have seen that smile before in Indonesia – a natural response, no matter the situation, maybe out of innate shyness or deference when talking to a stranger. And here, standing beside the dripping pile of clothes, home appliances, children’s books and toys, Ahmad grinned broadly.

Helped by his wife and his uncle, he was busy dragging out the waterlogged contents of his home to see what could be salvaged.

The building was swamped on the night of December 22, when tsunami waves believed to have been triggered by an erupting volcano surged over the thin strip of beach that separated Ahmad’s home in the village of Sambolo from the sea. 

At least Ahmad’s roof was intact, giving him the chance to dry out some of his goods.

His neighbours’ homes were missing roofs altogether, so their possessions were likely to stay wet until the end of the rainy season, still many weeks away.

Behind Ahmad’s smile was the pain of knowing just how vulnerable people were here, with the monster of Anak Krakatau volcano rumbling just over the horizon.

“This is my home. I have no other place to go,” he said with a shrug. “But if I had money I’d buy somewhere safer to live.” 






WATCH: Indonesia rescuers hampered by rain after tsunami (1:41)

‘No warning’

For many people living along the Sunda Strait, which separates the islands of Java and Sumatra, the sea is their only livelihood.

From the fishermen to the family-owned resorts and restaurants that dotted the shoreline, people have no choice but to resume their previous ways of life.

“There was no warning at all,” said Babay Halimatusadiah, the owner of a small food stall. “It happened suddenly.”

She was standing beside her husband in the little food stall they own, set back about one hundred metres from the beach in Carita district. On the day the tsunami hit, they were serving evening diners in the same spot.  






WATCH: Indonesia raises alert, reroutes flights around erupting volcano (1:43)

Two days after the event, they were already back in business. The couple, however, said they would be a lot happier with a better early warning system.

“I hope the government can use newer technology,” her husband, Hasbialoh Asnawi told us.

“Because we’re afraid there’s going to be worse in future.”

The lack of a tsunami warning has sparked a fierce debate in Indonesia about the country’s preparedness for such disasters, given how prone the sprawling archipelago is to quakes and destructive waves.

Much of the current warning system was put in place after the so-called Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 – a far more devastating event that struck more than a dozen countries in the Indian Ocean. It claimed an estimated 200,000 lives in Indonesia alone.

‘Still afraid’ 

Coincidentally, the fourteenth anniversary of that event fell on Wednesday, as the clean up from the latest disaster continued. 

On both occasions, the full force a tsunami can unleash could be seen in the damage done to the bigger, more solidly built homes and blocks in holiday resorts.

This time, too, whole walls were swept away, exposing the rooms, furniture and toilet fixtures inside.

And then, as now, it is the poorer, more vulnerable communities who bore the brunt.

Stretches of coastline now stripped clean of any signs of life were once thriving communities of simple huts made from bamboo, thatch and metal sheeting.

The piles of debris swept back one or two hundred metres inland were the only reminders of the people who have been killed, injured and displaced.

In the town of Labuan, a couple of kilometres inland, thousacarita nds of homeless were waiting to see when and how they can return home. The area is only a few metres above sea level, but it was enough to offer a level of security for people who have experienced what the sea is capable of.

In one of the temporary camps that have sprung up, Watinah – the wife of a fisherman who now has no way to support herself and her three children – was watching the monotonous rain outside.

“I don’t know how long we are going to stay here,” she said. “We haven’t been back to see the condition of our home because we’re still afraid.”

Just at that moment, more bad news arrived.Our producer, Syarina’s device began beeping. The alert level on Anak Krakatau had just been raised to Level 3, one below the maximum 4.

The people have reason to fear. Krakatau still rumbles ominously.

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Driver in satisfactory condition following head-on Gatineau collision

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One person was in hospital in satisfactory condition following a head-on collision between two vehicles in Gatineau on Saturday.

According to Gatineau police, the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Montée Paiement, between Saint-Thomas and Saint-Columban roads.

Each of the vehicles had only one occupant at the time of the incident.

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Ottawa military family alleges bad faith eviction by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada

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An Ottawa military family alleges their former landlord — Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada — acted in bad faith when he gave them a notice of eviction, claiming he intended to move into their Vanier rental home with his own family.

The home is now listed for sale for $950,000, two months after Vivian and Tim Funk moved out with their two young children.

In documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Funks detailed how their landlord, Sulaiman AlAqeel, acted to end their tenancy by allegedly pretending he was moving in himself. This was preceded by an attempt to market the house to new tenants for significantly more money when the Funks had not given notice indicating they would be leaving, the documents alleged. “The landlord’s representative,” according to the documents, allegedly told the Funks they needed to accept a $500 monthly rent increase and a new lease if they wanted to continue living in the rental property, which wouldn’t be legal under the Residential Tenancies Act.

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Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalization data showing half of cases coming from community, not just long-term care

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With local data showing 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from the community, long-term care residents aren’t the only one vulnerable to severe illness from the virus, Ottawa’s Board of Health reports.

Despite the majority of deaths having happened in older adult age groups in long-term care homes, residents shouldn’t think institutions are the only settings that are vulnerable to outbreaks that lead to serious illness from the virus.

“[Ottawa Public Health] continues to expand our understanding of the types of settings and situations that have the most impact on COVID-19 transmission in our community and is seeking academic partners to better explore exposure risks as well as a broader assessment of the harms from different public health measures,” OPH outlined in its document, to be present at the Board of Health on Monday.

At the same time, however, OPH says it is working closely with partners on “processes to strengthen and streamline responses.” This includes weekly meetings across agencies to address issues and concerns to ensure a strong collaboration, ongoing communications with facilities, preventative visits and phone calls to review infection prevention and control.

In situations where OPH identified failings at an LTCH or concerns of compliance have been raised, OPH has been quick to issue letters of expectation that outline the deficiencies and timelines fo compliance.

It is unclear how many letters have been issued through both waves of the virus.

And while outbreaks in LTCH during wave two have recorded a higher number of LTCH outbreaks than in wave one, the overall morbidity and mortality has been lower. This means fewer cases, fewer deaths and a lower average duration of outbreaks.

OPH contributed this to building on lessons learned from early COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCH in Ottawa.

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/ottawa-covid-19-hospitalization-data-of-severe-illness-shows-half-of-cases-coming-from-community-not-just-long-term-care-homes-3136152

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