TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Conversion of forests in West Sumatra has triggered natural disasters, according to the Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI).
West Sumatra`s environment was under threat due to overexploitation of natural resources following activities, such as mining and logging, Uslaini, director of WALHI`s West Sumatra chapter, said on Tuesday.
Mining activities are being conducted on 97,014.06 hectares of forest area in the province.
He stated that 11 mining permits were issued in conservation forest areas, measuring 190.16 hectares, and 67 mining permits in protected forest areas, covering 97,014.06 hectares.
"The mining sites are located in Pasaman, Padang, Solok, South Solok, West Pasaman, Limapuluh Kota, Sijunjung, Dharmasraya, and Agam," he said.
"The issuance of mining permits in conservation and protected forests is a violation of Article 38 of Law Number 19 of 2004 on Forestry," he added.
Meanwhile, floods and a landslide had struck the villages of Sunuruik and Talu in Talamau Sub-district, West Pasaman District, West Sumatra Province, recently.
More than 100 homes were inundated, and land transportation between West Pasaman and Pasaman Districts was cut off, Head of the West Pasaman Disaster Mitigation Office Try Wahluyo remarked in Pesaman.
Torrential rains had caused the Batang Sinuruik River to overflow, he added.
A landslide struck Jorong Paraman in the same district, cutting off a main road in the village.
Besides this, thousands of residential houses in South Pesisir District, West Sumatra Province, were also inundated due to incessant rains since Wednesday night.
The floodwaters had inundated thousands of houses in the sub-districts of Bayang, North Bayang, IV Jurai, and Batang Kapas in the district of South Pesisir, Head of the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency of South Pesisir Prinurdin stated last Thursday.