Nias: "It Is a Complete Disaster"

22 Aug 2019 17 Share

The scene at the famed line-up of Lagundri Bay on August 20 2019.

The scene at the famed line-up of Lagundri Bay on August 20 2019.

COASTALWATCH | ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

Construction continues at Lagundri Bay; local surfers up in arms

Almost a month ago, Surfline reported that the local government on the wave-rich island of Nias, off Sumatra, was building a road directly in front of – almost on top of – the famed righthander at Lagundri Bay. Local surfers were concerned then – and they’re furious now.

A trusted source on the ground explains: “Man, it’s so messed up in Nias. There really is no other way of putting it, this project is messed up! They started with the small section they originally talked about. The reef is a mess of rocks and cement and now some sticky red dirt. They have been pouring cement all over the reef like crazy. It’s already very dangerous at high tide for surfers to come in. There’s a tall pile of rocks right where most people come in. At high tide, water is washing around those rocks and surfers have nowhere to go. They must walk quite a ways along the rocks over sharp reef in order to get to an area where they can climb over some lower rocks.”

“They have trucks driving right out over the reef dumping more rocks and dirt each day. That was horrible enough, but they have now started working on another large section of the beach. They are dumping more rocks up the other end, in the keyhole area. They are coming way too far out on the reef in an area that has the most potential to create backwash when there is larger swell.

“This is clearly a lot more people involved than just local government. They’ve brought in huge machines that we’ve never seen on Nias Island before. They have a cement truck out on the reef. There is a huge excavator machine next to it. They have been pumping out huge blocks of cement. They have them all lined up temporarily as they continue to make more. No one knows what their plan is for them. It is a complete disaster.

“Yesterday, there was a big group of top government people coming in to check out the work. Professor Yasonna Laoly was one of them –the Minister of Law and Human Rights of Indonesia and first Nias person to hold a cabinet position. While visiting the construction site at Sorake, a surf tourist walked straight up to him and said, The whole world is saying don’t build this. All the surfers. Because if you ruin this wave, no more tourism.”

Locals have started an online petition to get as many signatures and comments as possible. The Nias Pro – a Men’s QS 3000 starts September 10 and all the top government officials will be on site, along with local and international pro surfers. Stay tuned for developments.

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