Millions may risk jail as Indonesia to outlaw sex outside marriage

By Tom Allard and Agustinus Bea Da Costa

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia is poised to pass a new penal code that criminalizes consensual sex outside marriage and introduces stiff penalties for insulting the president’s dignity – a move rights groups criticized as an intrusive assault on basic freedoms.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim majority country and has substantial Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities, but has seen a recent trend towards deeper religious piety and conservative Islamic activism.

The new criminal code is due to be adopted in the next week after parliament and the government agreed a final draft on Wednesday, four parliamentarians told Reuters.

Lawmakers told Reuters that the new penal code, which would replace a Dutch colonial-era set of laws, was a long-overdue expression of Indonesian independence and religiosity.

“The state must protect citizens from behavior that is contrary to the supreme precepts of God,” said Nasir Djamil, a politician from the Prosperous Justice Party. He said leaders of all religions had been consulted on the changes given that Indonesia’s founding ideology was based on belief in God.

Under the proposed laws, unmarried couples who “live together as a husband and wife” could be jailed for six months or face a maximum fine of 10 million rupiah ($710), which is three months’ salary for many Indonesians.

A prosecution can proceed if a village chief, who heads the lowest tier of government, files a complaint with police, and parents or children of the accused do not object. Parents, children and spouses can also lodge a complaint.

The inclusion of the new power for village chiefs was warranted because “the victim of adultery is also society”, another lawmaker, Teuku Taufiqulhadi, said.

CRITICISM

The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, an NGO, said millions of Indonesians could be ensnared by the new laws. It noted a study indicating that 40 percent of Indonesian adolescents engaged in pre-marital sexual activity.

“Across the board, this is a ratcheting up of conservatism. It’s extremely regressive,” said Tim Lindsey, director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society.

A maximum one-year prison term also can be applied to a person who has sex with someone who is not their spouse and a close family member lodges a complaint. The law also impacts homosexuals as gay marriage is not recognized in Indonesia.

The code also establishes prison terms for those found to commit “obscene acts”, defined as violating norms of decency and politeness through “lust or sexuality”, whether by heterosexuals or gay people.

The new laws will also apply to foreigners. However, asked whether tourists in Indonesia could face jail for extramarital sex, Taufiqulhadi said: “No problem, as long as people don’t know.”

There would also be a maximum four-year prison term for women who have an abortion, applicable if there was no medical emergency or rape involved. The code further introduces fines for some people who promote contraception, and a six-month prison term for unauthorized discussion of “tools of abortion”.

In addition, local authorities would get greater freedom to introduce punishments for breaches of customary laws not covered in the penal code. There are more than 400 local regulations that activists say impinge civil rights, such as the mandatory wearing of a hijab, an Islamic headscarf for women.

Meanwhile, parliament has reintroduced the offense of “attacking the honor or dignity” of Indonesia’s president and vice president. A similar law was struck down by the Constitutional Court in 2006, and the new version is likely to be challenged by rights activists as well.

Insulting the government and state institutions also carries a prison term.

(Additional reporting by Jessica Damiana; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Thousands pray for rain in Indonesia as forests go up in smoke

Indonesian Muslim women pray for rain during a long drought season and haze in Pekanbaru, Riau province, Indonesia, September 11, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Rony Muharrman/ via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Thousands of Indonesians prayed for rain in haze-hit towns on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo on Wednesday, as forest fires raged at the height of the dry season, the state Antara news agency reported.

Fires have burnt through parts of Sumatra and Borneo island for more than a month and the government has sent 9,000 military, police and disaster agency personnel to fight the flames.

Indonesia’s neighbors regularly complain about smog caused by its forest blazes, which are often started to clear land for palm oil and pulp plantations.

But Indonesia said this week it was not to blame and fires had been spotted by satellites in several neighboring countries.

Several parts of Southeast Asia have seen unusually dry conditions in recent months including Indonesia, which has seen very little rain because of an El Nino weather pattern, its meteorological department has said.

Some communities have taken to prayer in the hope of ending the dry weather, and the haze it brings.

Thousands of people in Pekanbaru, capital of Riau province in Sumatra, held Islamic prayers for rain outside the governor’s office. Many of those taking part wore face masks to protect themselves from the smoke, Antara reported.

“We’re doing everything we can, now we pray to Allah for the rain,” deputy provincial governor Edy Nasution told the news agency.

Similar prayers were held in towns in Kalimantan, the Indonesian side of Borneo, where air quality has been at unhealthy levels and schools have been forced to close, the news agency said.

Mosques in Malaysia have also been encouraged to hold prayers for rain, said the head of Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department, Mohamad Nordin, according to the state news agency Bernama.

Indonesian authorities are using 37 helicopters and 239 million litres of water bombs to attack the blazes, the disaster agency said on its Twitter account, while aircraft were seeding clouds in the hope of generating rain.

The agency said 5,062 fire “hot spots” had been detected in six Indonesian provinces, as of Wednesday morning.

Endro Wibowo, deputy police chief of the town of Sampit in Central Kalimantan province, said his team was working around the clock to put out the fires.

Police were also taking legal action to deter farmers from illegally using fire to clear land, Antara reported.

Criminal cases have been initiated against 175 people in different places on suspicion of starting fires while four palm oil companies were facing charges of negligence, police told media.

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said small-scale farmers were being blamed for fires started by palm oil plantation companies.

“Actions by the central and local governments have not been strong enough against companies in industrial forests or palm plantations on peat lands. They always blame the community,” said Muhammad Ferdhiyadi of the group’s South Sumatra branch.

(Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo and Jessica Damiana in JAKARTA; Additional reporting by Rozanna Latiff in KUALA LUMPUR)

Quake hits sea off Indonesia, but tsunami warning lifted

A woman uses a phone as she leaves an office building, following an earthquake hit in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 2, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Dwi Prasetya/ via REUTERS

By Ed Davies and Jessica Damiana

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake struck off the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java on Friday, triggering a two-hour tsunami warning that sent coastal-dwellers fleeing to higher ground and panicking people in the capital Jakarta.

The U.S Geological Survey put the epicenter in the Indian Ocean about 227 km (141 miles) from Teluk Betung city on Sumatra with an initial magnitude of 7 that was later lowered to 6.8.

There appeared to be no major damage or casualties, but strong tremors were felt in Jakarta, the capital, prompting people to run out of office buildings.

“It was so scary,” said Gustiani Pratiwi, carrying two children out of an apartment block in Jakarta after feeling the quake strongly.

Indonesia is situated on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which is frequently hit by earthquakes and sometimes accompanying tsunamis.

The most devastating in recent Indonesian history was on Dec. 26 in 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a massive tsunami that killed around 226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including more than 126,000 in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s geophysics agency issued a warning of potential tsunami waves up to three meters (10 feet) but that was withdrawn once the risk was discounted.

TV footage showed passengers at Jakarta’s international airport rushing out of a terminal building, but authorities later said the airport was operating normally.

The quake could also be felt in other cities such as Yogyakarta on Java island.

One social media video showed panicked guests dashing out past a hotel swimming pool on Java island.

Last year, a tsunami hit the city of Palu in Sulawesi island, killing thousands, while a crater collapse at the Anak Krakatau volcano triggered a tsunami that killed at least 430 people in an area near the latest quake.

(Reporting by Ed Davies and Jessica Damiana; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Andrew Cawthorne)

Indonesia tells residents near coast to get to high ground after tsunami alert

People gather outside an office building following an earthquake hit in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 2, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Dwi Prasetya/ via REUTERS

By Ed Davies and Jessica Damiana

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian authorities urged coastal-dwellers to head for higher ground on Friday after a tsunami warning with potential for waves up to three meters (10 feet) following a powerful earthquake off the islands of Sumatra and Java.

The U.S Geological Survey put the epicenter in the Indian Ocean about 227 km (141 miles) from Teluk Betung city on Sumatra with an initial magnitude of 7 that was later lowered to 6.8.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, but strong tremors were felt in Jakarta, the capital, prompting people to run out of office buildings.

“It was so scary,” said Gustiani Pratiwi, carrying two children out of an apartment block in Jakarta after feeling the quake strongly.

Indonesia is situated on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, which is frequently hit by earthquakes and sometimes accompanying tsunamis.

The most devastating in recent Indonesian history was on Dec. 26 in 2004, when a magnitude 9.5 quake triggered a massive tsunami that killed around 226,000 people along the shorelines of the Indian Ocean, including more than 126,000 in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s geophysics agency said it would keep monitoring for a potential tsunami until at least 21:35 pm (1435 GMT) and warned residents to stay alert.

The tsunami risk was in southern parts of Banten province in Java and Lampung province in Sumatra, it said.

“Please look for higher ground at least 10 meters (33 feet) high,” agency chief Dwikorita Karnawati told a news conference.

TV footage showed passengers at Jakarta’s international airport rushing out of a terminal building, but authorities later said the airport was operating normally.

The quake could also be felt in other cities such as Yogyakarta on Java island.

One social media video showed panicked guests dashing out past a hotel swimming pool in Tasikmalya on Java island.

Last year, a tsunami hit the city of Palu in Sulawesi island, killing thousands, while a crater collapse at the Anak Krakatau volcano triggered a tsunami that killed at least 430 people in an area near the latest quake.

At Carita beach in Banten, which was affected by the Anak Krakatau quake, a resident described the alarm in the area.

“We are panicking a lot,” Sandi, a resident of Carita beach, told Metro TV by telephone.

(Reporting by Ed Davies and Jessica Damiana; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Andrew Cawthorne)

Indonesia warns of further eruptions after volcano spews ash

A volcanic ash cloud from Mount Sinabung hovers over Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia June 9, 2019, in this still image taken from a social media video. Sinarisa Sitepu via REUTERS

KARO, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesian officials warned on Monday against the prospect of further eruptions from an active volcano on the island of Sumatra after it emitted a huge column of ash, causing panic among residents.

Mount Sinabung, which has seen a spike in activity since 2010, erupted for around nine minutes on Sunday, sending clouds of volcanic ash 7 km (4.4 miles) into the sky.

Although no casualties were reported, officials monitoring the volcano warned of possible fresh eruptions.

“After the eruption, from midnight until 6 a.m., there were a few aftershocks,” said Willy, a scientist at a Sinabung observatory post, who uses one name, like many Indonesians.

Authorities left unchanged the alert level for Sinabung, but urged residents to use face masks and keep indoors to guard against volcanic ashfall.

Mount Sinabung, which is 2,460 m (8,071 ft) high, is among Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, but had been inactive for four centuries before its 2010 eruption. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country.

(Reporting by Yudhistira; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Death toll in floods in Indonesia’s Papua rises to nearly 80

Cars are submerged in mud following a flash flood in Sentani, Papua, Indonesia, March 17, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Gusti Tanati/ via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Authorities in Indonesia raised the death toll from floods and landslides in the easternmost province of Papua to nearly 80 on Monday as President Joko Widodo called for the urgent evacuation of victims from devastated communities.

The deadly floods and landslide struck at the weekend after torrential rain fell across the Cyclops mountain range, much of which has been stripped of tree cover by villagers chopping fire wood and farmers cultivating plantations.

The death toll shot up to nearly 80 from 58 on Sunday as rescuers found more victims as they struggled to clear mud, rocks and shattered trees from the area near the provincial capital of Jayapura, including a 70 km stretch of road.

With 43 people missing, Widodo urged rescuers to step up their efforts.

“What is most important is handling the evacuation,” he said in a statement posted on Instagram.

More than 4,000 people have been displaced and are sheltering in tents, schools, and public buildings.

Disaster authorities have warned provincial officials of the danger of flash floods due to deforestation, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster mitigation agency.

The central government sent supplies of seedlings last year, hoping to help restore some forest cover, he said.

(Reporting by Jessica Damiana; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor)

Boeing black box review begins in France, aviation world waits

Men unload a case containing the black boxes from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 outside the headquarters of France's BEA air accident investigation agency in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

By Richard Lough and Aaron Maasho

PARIS/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Investigators in France on Friday examined the black boxes of a Boeing 737 MAX that crashed in Ethiopia, as a spooked global airline industry waited to see if the cause was similar to a disaster in Indonesia months before.

Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed soon after take-off from Addis Ababa last weekend, killing 157 people, the second such calamity involving Boeing’s flagship new model after a jet came down off Indonesia in October with 189 people on board.

In both cases, pilots asked to return minutes into flight.

The international repercussions are huge. Regulators have grounded the 737 MAX around the world, and the U.S. planemaker has halted next deliveries of the several thousand planes on order for a model intended to be the future industry workhorse.

Parallels between the twin disasters have frightened travelers worldwide and wiped almost $28 billion off Boeing’s stock market value.

U.S. aviation authorities say information from the wreckage in Ethiopia plus newly-refined data about its flight path indicated some similarities.

Two sources said investigators retrieved from the wreckage a piece of a stabilizer, which moves the nose up and down, that was set in an unusual position – one similar to that of the Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia.

 

“NOSE-DIVE”

Pilots were waiting anxiously for the investigation.

“Looking at the crash site photos, the aircraft appears to have nose-dived,” Paul Gichinga, former head of the Kenya Airline Pilots Association, told Reuters.

“The pilot must have gotten some sort of indication that maybe the airspeed was unreliable or something and decided, instead of climbing and going to sort out the problem up there, the best thing was to return to have it sorted.”

Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker, has said the 737 MAX is safe, though it plans to roll out a software upgrade in the coming weeks. It continued to produce at full speed at its factory near Seattle, but paused shipments.

French authorities have possession of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, though Ethiopia is formally leading the investigation and U.S. experts are in Paris and Addis Ababa too.

First conclusions could take several days.

The New York Times said the Ethiopian captain, Yared Getachew, initially reported a “flight control” problem in a calm voice before asking to return in panicked tones three minutes into the flight. “Break break, request back to home,” he told controllers, the newspaper reported, citing a person who had reviewed the communications.

The jet initially flew below the minimum safe height for its climb, then once at higher altitude was oscillating up and down by hundreds of feet, all at abnormal speed, the Times said. It then disappeared from radar over a restricted military zone and lost contact with air controllers five minutes after take-off.

Relatives lay flowers as they pay homage to victims during a commemoration ceremony at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu, near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Relatives lay flowers as they pay homage to victims during a commemoration ceremony at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town Bishoftu, near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

FAMILIES “STUCK AND EMOTIONAL”

In Ethiopia, grieving relatives have been visiting the charred and debris-strewn field where the jet came down to pay last respects. Only fragments remain, meaning it may take weeks or months to identify all the victims who came from 35 nations.

Some families stormed out of a meeting with Ethiopian Airlines on Thursday complaining about lack of information.

Israeli Ilan Matsliah flew to Ethiopia hours after confirming his brother was on board, thinking it would be quick to find remains for burial in accordance with Jewish tradition.

“More than 24 hours is a problem for us. But I have been here for more than 96 hours,” the 46-year old told Reuters.

“We are now stuck in the same place, the same as Monday. We are very emotional.”

With heightened global scrutiny, the head of Indonesia’s transport safety committee said a report into the Lion Air crash would be speeded up for release in July or August.

A preliminary report focused on maintenance, training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor.

As the ripple-effect from the Ethiopia crash spread, Canada’s biggest carrier Air Canada suspended financial forecasts for the first quarter and the year, two days after its MAX jets were grounded. It had expected the MAX to deliver significant savings on fuel and maintenance costs.

A potential new Chinese order for more than 100 jets worth well over $10 billion was thrown into doubt.

Legal experts said even non-U.S. families of the Ethiopia victims may be able to sue Chicago-based Boeing in the United States – where payouts are larger – as eight of the dead were American and plaintiffs may argue liability hinges on system design and safety decisions made by executives.

Boeing, one of the biggest companies by market capitalization on the Dow Jones and a darling of the market, has seen its shares lose 13 percent since the crash.

Its shares had hit record highs just a week before, having risen a stunning 52 percent since the end of December, and were still up 19 percent year-to-date.

(Reporting by Richard Lough, Tim Hepher in Paris; Duncan Miriri and Aaron Masho in Addis Ababa; Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick in Nairobi; David Shephardson in Washington; Rishika Chatterjee and Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Jamie Freed in Singapore; Josephine Mason in London; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Ethiopia black boxes bound for Europe, crash pilot had in-plane issues

American civil aviation and Boeing investigators search through the debris at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

By Duncan Miriri

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The Ethiopian Airlines pilot whose jet crashed killing 157 people had reported flight-control problems, the company said on Wednesday, as it prepared to send the black boxes to Europe from a disaster that has rocked the global aviation industry.

The still unexplained crash, which happened just after take-off from Addis Ababa, followed another disaster involving a Boeing 737 MAX in Indonesia five months ago that killed 189 people.

Though there is no proof of links, the twin disasters have spooked passengers, led to the grounding of most of Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet and hammered shares in the world’s biggest planemaker.

Since the Indonesia crash, there has been attention on an automated anti-stall system that dips the aircraft’s nose down.

Ethiopia Airlines spokesman Asrat Begashaw told Reuters it was still unclear what happened on Sunday, but its pilot had reported control issues – as opposed to external factors such as birds.

“The pilot reported flight control problems and requested to turn back. In fact he was allowed to turn back,” he said.

A decision where in Europe to send the black boxes would be taken by Thursday, the airline said.

Multiple nations, including the European Union, have suspended the 737 MAX, grounding about two-thirds of the 371 jets of that make in operation around the world, according to Reuters calculations.

Many airlines were managing to keep to schedule by using other jets while economic woes meant some may be grateful for a pause. The biggest impact could be on future deliveries given Boeing has nearly 5,000 more 737 MAXs on order.

India said it would not take any deliveries until safety concerns were cleared and Ethiopian Airlines said it would decide whether to cancel orders after a preliminary probe.

Passengers were fretting too, with many seeking reassurances they would not be flying on a 737 MAX. Kayak.com was the first big site to say it would modify filters to allow customers to exclude particular types of planes from queries.

 

U.S. OUTLIER

Nevertheless, the United States held out against suspension and Boeing affirmed its “full confidence” in the model.

U.S. President Donald Trump, an aviation enthusiast whose ties with Boeing run deep, received safety assurances personally from its chief executive Dennis Muilenburg.

Still, Boeing shares have fallen some 11 percent since the crash, losing $26.65 billion of market value.

Possibly presaging a raft of claims, Norwegian Air said it would seek recompense for lost revenue and extra costs after grounding its 737 MAX aircraft.

“We expect Boeing to take this bill,” it said.

More than a dozen relatives of those who perished paid their respects on Wednesday at the rural site where Flight ET 302 came down in a fireball. Workers set up tents decorated with white roses.

Given problems of identification of charred remains, it will take days to start returning them to families, probably weeks for some which will require dental or DNA testing.

The victims came from more than 30 nations.

Of the top 10 nations by air passenger travel, all but the United States and Japan halted the 737 MAX. Egypt, Thailand, Lebanon, Serbia, Kosovo and Uzbekistan joined them on Wednesday.

Resisting pressure, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) acting administrator Dan Elwel said its review had shown “no systemic performance issues.”

The three U.S. airlines using the 737 MAX – Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines – stood by the aircraft.

PILOTS’ CONCERNS

The new variant of the world’s most-sold modern passenger aircraft was viewed as the likely workhorse for airlines for decades. But October’s Lion Air crash in Indonesia sparked a debate on automation, particularly over a software system designed to push the plane down to stop a stall during flight.

Boeing says it plans to update the software in coming weeks.

Though there are no proven links between the two recent 737 MAX crashes, the United Arab Emirates’ aviation regulator said on Tuesday there were “marked similarities” and China’s regulator noted both occurred shortly after take-off.

In November, two incidents were reported to the NASA-run Aviation Safety Reporting Database that involved problems in controlling the 737 MAX at low altitude just after take-off with autopilot engaged, according to documents first published by the Dallas Morning News and verified by Reuters.

“We discussed the departure at length and I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can’t think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively,” one pilot said.

In another case, the pilot said: “With the concerns with the MAX 8 nose down stuff, we thought it appropriate to bring it to your attention.”

Boeing did not respond immediately to a request for comment, but it has previously said it provided appropriate information to pilots to use an existing procedure to handle the issue of erroneous data affecting the anti-stall system.

(Additional reporting by Aaron Maasho in Addis Ababa; Kumerra Gemechu in Gora-Bokka, Ethiopia; Omar Mohammed and Maggie Fick in Nairobi; Tim Hepher in Paris; David Shepardson in Washington; Jamie Freed in Singapore; Terje Solsvik in Oslo; Aditi Shah in Mumbai; Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Aleksandar Vasovic in Belgrade; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Indonesian divers find crashed Lion Air jet’s second black box

FILE PHOTO - Wreckage recovered from Lion Air flight JT610, that crashed into the sea, lies at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/File Photo

By Cindy Silviana

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian authorities on Monday said they will immediately begin to download contents of a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from a Lion Air jet that crashed into the sea near Jakarta more than two months ago, killing all 189 people on board.

The crash was the world’s first of a Boeing Co 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018, and the recovery of the aircraft’s second black box from the Java Sea north of Jakarta on Monday may provide an account of the last actions of the doomed jet’s pilots.

“We have our own laboratory and personnel to do it,” Haryo Satmiko, deputy chief of the transportation safety committee, told Reuters.

Satmiko said it had in the past taken up to three months to download, analyze and transcribe the contents of recorders.

Contact with flight JT610 was lost 13 minutes after it took off on Oct. 29 from the capital, Jakarta, heading north to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.

A preliminary report by Indonesia’s transport safety commission focused on airline maintenance and training, as well as the response of a Boeing anti-stall system and a recently replaced sensor, but did not give a cause for the crash.

A group of relatives of victims urged the transportation safety committee to reveal “everything that was recorded” and to work independently.

Navy Lieutenant Colonel Agung Nugroho told Reuters a weak signal from the recorder was detected several days ago and it was found buried deep in soft mud on the seafloor in water about 30 meters (98 ft) deep.

“We don’t know what damage there is but it has obvious scratches on it,” Nugroho said.

Pictures supplied by an official from the transportation agency showed chipped bright orange paint on the CVR memory unit, but no major dents.

Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator at the safety committee, told reporters it should take no more than five days to download the data, but if there was a problem the CVR would be sent to the manufacturer.

“We hope it can be done as soon as possible because all the Boeing operators are waiting,” said Utomo, adding that investigators hoped to complete the full report within a year of the crash.

With the recovery of the CVR, officials said there was no plan to continue searching for other parts of the wrecked plane, including an angle of attack sensor that was suspected to have been faulty.

The navy’s Nugroho said human remains had been found near the location of the CVR, about 50 meters from where the crashed jet’s other black box, the flight data recorder (FDR), was found three days after the crash.

Investigators brought in a navy ship last week after a 10-day, 38 billion rupiah ($2.70 million), an effort funded by Lion Air failed to find the recorder. Bureaucratic wrangling and funding problems hampered the initial search.

The L3 Technologies Inc CVR was designed to send acoustic pings for 90 days after a crash in water, according to an online brochure from the manufacturer.

That would mean that after Jan. 27, investigators could have faced a far bigger problem in finding the CVR buried along with much of the wreckage deep in mud on the sea floor..

Boeing said in a statement on Monday that it was taking “every measure” to fully support this investigation.

“As the investigation continues, Boeing is working closely with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board as a technical advisor to support Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee,” the planemaker said in a statement.

Since the crash, Lion Air has faced scrutiny over its maintenance and training standards, and relatives of victims have filed at least three lawsuits against Boeing.

(Additional reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Fergus Jensen and Tabita Diela; Editing by Robert Birsel and Darren Schuettler)

Indonesia orders flights to steer clear of erupting Anak Krakatau volcano

An aerial view of Anak Krakatau volcano during an eruption at Sunda strait in South Lampung, Indonesia, December 23, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Bisnis Indonesia/Nurul Hidayat/ via REUTERS/File Photo

By Fergus Jensen

LABUAN, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesia on Thursday raised the alert level for the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano to the second-highest and ordered all flights to steer clear, days after it triggered a tsunami that killed at least 430 people.

A crater collapse on the volcanic island at high tide on Saturday sent waves up to 5 meters (16 feet) high smashing into the coast on the Sunda Strait, between the islands of Java and Sumatra.

Residents walk among debris after the tsunami at Labuan in Pandeglang, Banten province, Indonesia December 26, 2018, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/via REUTERS

Residents walk among debris after the tsunami at Labuan in Pandeglang, Banten province, Indonesia December 26, 2018, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/via REUTERS

Authorities have warned that the crater of Anak Krakatau, or child of Krakatau, remains fragile, raising fears of another collapse and tsunami, and have urged residents to stay away from the coast.

The volcano has been rumbling on and off since June but has been particularly active since Sunday, spewing lava and rocks, and sending huge clouds of ash up to 3,000 meters into heavily overcast skies.

The national geological agency, in raising the alert level to the second-highest, set a 5-km exclusion zone around the island.

“Since December 23, activity has not stopped … We anticipate a further escalation,” said Antonius Ratdomopurbo, secretary of the geological agency.

A thin layer of volcanic ash has been settling on buildings, vehicles and vegetation along the west coast of Java since late on Wednesday, according to images shared by the national disaster mitigation agency.

Authorities said the ash was not dangerous, but advised residents to wear masks and goggles when outside, while aircraft were ordered away.

“All flights are rerouted due to Krakatau volcano ash on red alert,” Indonesia’s air traffic control agency AirNav said in a release.

AirNav’s corporate secretary, Didiet K.S. Radityo, told Reuters there were no disruptions to any international or domestic flights.

The civil aviation authority said no airports would be affected. The capital, Jakarta, is about 155 km east of the volcano.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago that sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”.

In 1883, the volcano then known as Krakatoa erupted in one of the biggest blasts in recorded history, killing more than 36,000 people in a series of tsunamis and lowering the global surface temperature by one degree Celsius with its ash.

Anak Krakatau is the island that emerged from the area in 1927 and has been growing ever since.

This year, Indonesia has suffered its worst annual death toll from disasters in more than a decade.

‘NO PREPARATIONS’

The latest tsunami, coming during the Christmas season, evoked memories of the Indian Ocean tsunami triggered by an earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, which killed 226,000 people in 14 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Tsunami warning systems were set up after 2004 but they have failed to prevent subsequent disasters, often because apparatus has not been maintained, while public education and disaster preparation efforts have been patchy at best.

Ramdi Tualfredi, a teacher in the village of Cigondong, on Java’s west coast, said he had never got any instructions on safety steps and efforts to prepare communities for tsunami had “totally failed”.

“There were no preparations. I didn’t get information from anywhere,” he said, adding there had been little help for residents since disaster struck.

Nearly 22,000 people were displaced by the tsunami, while 1,495 were injured and 159 are missing.

Thousands of displaced are staying in tents and crowded into public buildings.

Hamad Suhaimi, a teacher working as a volunteer at a school being used as an emergency shelter, said the numbers of displaced needing help had surged as authorities expanded the area deemed unsafe.

Volunteers and displaced villagers told Reuters that conditions in the shelters were getting difficult, especially for new mothers and their babies.

“We’re breastfeeding. We have to eat in the morning but food only comes at midday and there are no vegetables,” said Siti Sayaroh, 24.

The government has declared a state of emergency until Jan. 4, to help with the distribution of aid.

(Additional reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe, Cindy Silviana, Nilufar Rizki, Jessica Damiana, Tabita Diela; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Robert Birsel)