"A 1,500 horsepower engine cannot activate a breakage in the earth."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The debate over the cause of the mud disaster in Sidoarjo, East Java, is continuing relentlessly even today, according to some experts.

It remains unclear whether the mud flow occurred due to a drilling activity or it was a natural disaster.

Sofian Hadi, a member of the Indonesian Geologists Association and the deputy operation officer of the Sidoarjo Mud Management Board (BPLS), said here on Monday that the drilling activity was not the cause of the mud disaster.

The BPLS was formed by the central government as a follow up to a decision made by Indonesia`s Supreme Court.

"In my opinion, the drilling activity is not the reason for the mudflow, because a 1,500 horsepower engine cannot activate a breakage in the earth," Sofian remarked.

He further stated that findings from the observation countermeasures team (TP2LS) - formed on September 4, 2007 and lead by the vice president of the House of Representatives, Priyo Budi Santoso - concluded during a plenary council meeting on September 29, 2009 that the mudflow was a natural phenomenon.

The natural phenomenon, according to the observation made by the countermeasures team, has also occurred in other regions and countries.

The decision made regarding the cause of the mudslide was also backed by the Supreme Court`s decision on April 3, 2009, which confirmed that the mudflow was a natural phenomenon and not caused by a company`s mining activities.

On August 5, 2009, East Java regional police department also released a letter of order to cease the mudflow investigation.

"From a legal perspective, we all know that it was not the fault of PT Lapindo Brantas, especially the Bakrie family. This understanding needs to be conveyed to the community in the midst of the political efforts continued by certain parties to state otherwise," Satya explained.

He said that the Bakrie family`s commitment and sincerity in finalising the rest of the land and infrastructure payments will definitely be manifest.

"If the case continues to be politicised, it will create a disproportional view of the problem" he added.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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