Rain, Rain, Go Away

A typical afternoon shower turned into a fierce downpour yesterday afternoon. Torrential rains swept through Tembagapura in a 50-year storm that triggered floods, landslides, and power outages, which resulted in varying degrees of destruction throughout the small mining town. The hardest hit area was the mine’s main access road (the same road seen in my previous post, Roads). Multiple landslides washed sections of the mountain down, sending mud and debris into the path of parked buses, trucks, and LVs (Toyotas), leaving hundreds of employees stranded.

Chris was on his way home from work when the first landslide occurred. He attempted to wait it out, but, after a couple of hours, and, after hearing that the road was completely impassible and that no clean-up and/or repair work could begin until the river receded, he turned his vehicle around and drove back to his office to wait. Conditions continued to get worse as time passed. By 11:00PM, Chris realized that he’d be spending the rest of the night in his office. To help pass time, the group of stranded employees watched Avatar and a movie about mixed martial arts on a giant screen in one of the conference rooms, dined on spicy Indonesian chicken and rice, and slept on their office floors.

Chris arrived home at 8:30 this morning, and returned back to work after a quick shower and shave. Just another day in Tembagapura.


A long line of buses, trucks, and Toyotas that were hit and disabled by the rushing mud and debris from one of the landslides.


More buses, trucks, and Toyotas that were hit by another landslide.

This entry was posted in Irian Jaya, PTFI, Tembagapura and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Rain, Rain, Go Away

  1. John says:

    My wife and I are looking to accept a job at Tembagapura. My biggest question reading about landslides and earthquakes is that if it is responsible for me to take my wife with me to Tembagapura? Love to open a dialogue.

    Thank you

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