Indonesia says Sumatra, Kalimantan at risk of floods

JAKARTA Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:29pm EST

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JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's commodity-rich Sumatra and Kalimantan regions are among areas at high risk of flooding in December, the state weather agency said on Monday.

The agency said the country's rainy season is expected to peak in December and January.

The rainy season can impact output in Indonesia's agricultural and mineral sectors. A prolonged wet season last year hurt crops such as coffee and flooded coal mines.

"Parts of Indonesia has begun their rainy season in November (and) most of Indonesia's territory may have normal rain," said Sri Woro Hariyono, head of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency. "At coastal areas, there are higher potential for flood when sea water enters coastal areas.

"There are 21 provinces with flood potential, of which 16 provinces have high flood potential."

In recent weeks, many Indonesian palm oil producers have said that while the wet weather has arrived on plantations, there has been no flooding and rains are not comparable with last year.

Australia's weather bureau said last week that La Nina, a weather phenomenon usually linked to heavy rains and flooding in the Asia-Pacific and South America and drought in Africa, has strengthened, adding that the condition will persist until the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer.

(Reporting by Yayat Supriatna, writing by Michael Taylor; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)

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