Tue, 31 Oct 2000

Floods delay train travel

BANDUNG: An official with state-owned train operator PT KAI said on Monday his office had canceled all train travel from Bandung and Jakarta to Central and East Java due to floods in Cilacap regency, following two days of torrential rain.

PT KAI chief spokesman Gatot Wibowo said at least six trains -- KA Lodaya, KA Kahuripan, KA Mutiara Selatan, KA Turangga, KA Sawunggalih Selatan and KA Serayu -- had suspended operations because of flooding.

The company's Bandung spokesman, Akhmad Sujadi, said PT KAI had paid at least Rp 100 million to reimburse passengers whose trains were canceled, and that the flooding had caused the company losses of up to hundreds of million of rupiah.

He added that the business and executive class trains Lodaya, Argowilis and Mutiara Selatan would resume operations by taking the Bandung-Cikampek-Cirebon-Kroya-Yogyakarta-Surabaya route.

Gatot said the area hardest hit by flooding was between the Cipari and Meluwung stations, where the water has reportedly been 60 centimeters high since Sunday.

"In several areas, the water has even damaged the tracks because of erosion," he added.

Officials at the Bandung and Kiaracondong stations must wait for the water to subside before they can begin what is expected to be a week of repair work on train tracks.

Gatot said flood waters caused the KA Dwipangga to derail near Patuguran station, forcing other trains to take a detour by passing through the Prupuk, Tegal, Semarang and Solo stations. No fatalities were reported in the incident. (25/lup)