Indonesia considers relocations after deadly volcanic eruption

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s volcanology agency is sending a team of researchers to the Mount Semeru volcano to identify areas too dangerous for villagers to stay after it erupted on Saturday, killing dozens of people on the slopes of Java island’s highest mountain.

In the days since the disaster, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the disaster warning system and whether some villages should be moved.

Ediar Usman, an official from the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), told a media briefing that some areas were potentially no longer safe to inhabit.

“It’s not impossible that a similar disaster could happen in the future,” he said.

Eko Budi Lelono, who heads the geological survey center, told Reuters the team would be sent this week and included experts from Yogyakarta who had studied the Merapi volcano near that city.

An estimated 8.6 million people in Indonesia live within 10 km of an active volcano, well within the range of deadly pyroclastic flows.

The magnitude of Saturday’s eruption caught many villagers off guard, with dozens unable to escape as the volcano projected an ash cloud kilometers into the sky, and sent dangerous pyroclastic flows into villages on the fertile slopes below.

At least 34 people were killed, with another 22 still missing, while thousands have been displaced, according to the disaster mitigation agency.

The eruption almost entirely buried some villages under meters of molten ash, with more than 100,000 homes partially damaged or destroyed.

Surveying the worst affected areas by helicopter on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo said that at least 2,000 homes would have to be rebuilt in different areas.

Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Indonesia bolsters recovery efforts after volcano kills 34

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised on Tuesday to bolster evacuation efforts and repair damaged homes after visiting the site of a volcanic eruption on Java that has killed at least 34 people.

The 3,676-metre Mt. Semeru volcano erupted on Saturday sending a cloud of ash into the sky and dangerous pyroclastic flows into villages below.

Thousands of people have been displaced and 22 remain missing, according to the disaster mitigation agency.

After visiting evacuation centers and surveying the area by helicopter – getting an aerial view of villages submerged in molten ash – the president said recovery efforts would be bolstered now and in the months ahead.

“I came to the site to ensure that we have the forces to locate the victims,” said the president, speaking from Sumberwuluh, one of the worst-hit areas.

“We hope that after everything has subsided, that everything can start – fixing infrastructure or even relocating those from the places we predict are too dangerous to return to.”

At least 2,000 homes would need to be relocated to safer areas, he said.

Search and rescue efforts continued on Tuesday but have been hampered by wind and rain, and limited equipment in some areas.

Mt. Semeru erupted three times on Tuesday. Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said on Monday there was potential for further flows of hot gas, ash and rocks.

Mt. Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, in an area of high seismic activity atop multiple tectonic plates known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Janet Lawrence)

Indonesia volcano erupts again as death toll rises to 22

By Willy Kurniawan and Tommy Adriansyah

SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (Reuters) – An Indonesian volcano was active again on Monday, spewing out hot clouds of ash, two days after a powerful eruption killed at least 22 people and left dozens missing.

Mt. Semeru, the tallest mountain on the island of Java, erupted dramatically on Saturday, shooting a towering column of ash into the sky that blanketed surrounding villages.

Aerial footage showed roofs jutting out of an ashen landscape, while on the ground, military officers, police and residents dug through mud with their hands to pull out victims.

The death toll had risen to 22 by Monday, while 27 were missing, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said.

The volcano erupted again on Monday, Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation confirmed via its Twitter account, warning of continued seismic activity.

“Semeru is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. Before and after the December 4 eruption, it will continue to be active,” Liswanto, the head of the Semeru Volcano Observatory, told Reuters.

Some residents returned to their homes to check on belongings and livestock, but Liswanto urged people to keep a safe distance.

“People need to be more vigilant because the potential threat is still there,” he added.

In the Sumberwuluh area, rescue teams battled poor weather to retrieve victims from the rubble.

“The main obstacle is the weather… Hopefully the weather going forward will be good enough to make it easier for us to search,” Wuryanto, operations director of the national search and rescue agency (Basarnas), told reporters.

People have posted photos of missing loved ones on Facebook, with pleas for any information about their whereabouts.

Complicating logistics and rescue efforts, lava flows from Saturday’s eruption destroyed a bridge connecting two areas in the district of Lumajang with the city of Malang.

Public kitchens and health facilities have been set up for more than 1,700 people who have been displaced.

Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a country that straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.

(Additional reporting by Prasto Wardoyo and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Kate Lamb and Fathin Ungku; Editing by Karishma Singh, Gerry Doyle and Nick Macfie)

Without ICUs, doctor in Jakarta hospital battles to help COVID-19 patients

By Yuddy Cahya Budiman

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian doctor Cheras Sjarfi says the small public hospital where she works in south Jakarta was not ready for the influx of COVID-19 patients who arrived after a surge of new infections in the world’s fourth-most-populous country.

Only equipped for basic health care, her facility has had to treat COVID-19 patients even though it lacks the life-saving ventilators and intensive care units they sometimes require.

“We weren’t prepared for this situation,” she said, adding that the situation at smaller hospitals like hers showed how severe things had become.

The 28-year-old general practitioner said she knew it was getting bad when all the patients classified as suspected coronavirus cases tested positive within a week.

Grappling with the worst outbreak in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has reported record daily cases in seven of the past 11 days, including on Thursday, with 24,836 new infections and 504 deaths, both new highs.

The spike has made it harder to transfer severely ill patients, and city hospitals were at 93% capacity this week. Hospitals across Java are also nearly full.

“We… receive the incoming patients as best as we can. Give them oxygen, check their blood pressure, and observe them,” she said, adding that if a patient’s condition worsens it is unlikely that other hospitals can take them.

“The worst case is they die here. I definitely feel sad even if I have seen… people dying many times,” said Cheras.

She is working 12-hour shifts, double the normal length, after she said some of her colleagues were infected despite being fully vaccinated.

Indonesian authorities have announced new curbs starting Saturday, including tighter restrictions on movement and air travel, a ban on restaurant dining and closing non-essential offices.

Still, despite the huge strain and concerns she could be re-infected with COVID-19, Cheras tries to remains positive.

“Although we are exhausted and wonder when will this end… I think it still manageable,” she said.

(Writing by Ed Davies. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Indonesia health minister leads push for stricter COVID curbs

By Tom Allard and Kate Lamb

JAKARTA (Reuters) -Indonesia’s health minister is leading a push for stricter controls as coronavirus cases surge to unprecedented levels, according to sources familiar with government discussions. Coronavirus infections in Indonesia have tripled in the past three weeks, overwhelming hospitals in the capital Jakarta and on the heavily populated island of Java.

On Monday, Indonesia recorded 20,694 new infections, bringing the weekly total to 131,553. Three sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that health minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin had urged government leaders to enact tougher social restriction measures but his request was overruled. He is continuing to push his case, they said. One of the sources, who declined to be named as they were not authorized to speak on the matter, said government meetings on the issue would take place this week. The health minister’s position was supported by the country’s tourism minister Sandiaga Uno, who confirmed to Reuters that a tougher lockdown was under active consideration. “I am encouraging a tougher lockdown (but) we would need to provide the basic necessities for the people,” he said. “If the number of cases is increasing, then we need to adjust very quickly. “Citing the need to safeguard Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, Indonesia has mostly rejected the lockdowns imposed by its neighbors and large developing countries like India.

Instead, Jakarta has opted for social restrictions targeting villages and neighborhoods deemed “red zones” due to high infections, a policy known as PPKM Mikro. Last week, the head of the country’s COVID-19 taskforce, coordinating economy minister Airlangga Hartarto, banned religious activities at houses of worship, closed schools and bars and required offices, restaurants, cafes and malls to operate at 25% capacity in red zones for two weeks. When Reuters enquired if the health minister wanted greater curbs on social mobility, a ministry spokesperson replied “in accordance with the current policy”. A spokesman for the president said: “Until now, we still have PPKM Mikro, empirically it is still very effective to control small areas.”

INEFFECTIVE

The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) on Sunday called on the government to implement large-scale restrictions, especially across the island of Java, home to more than half the country’s population of 270 million people. The IDI said that 24 regencies and cities had reported isolation bed capacity at 90% full, while intensive care units in several areas were nearing 100% capacity and 30 doctors had died in June from COVID-19. “If there is no firm intervention we will be like India,” said Dr. Adib Khumaidi, head of the IDI’s mitigation team, noting the surge in cases in the South Asian nation in April and May and the “collapse” of its healthcare system. Public health experts have warned the government’s current policy for social restrictions can’t be fully implemented by poorly resourced local officials and don’t account for people moving between red zones and other areas. How villages and neighborhoods are designated red zones is opaque and undermined by low rates of testing and contact tracing that masks the true extent of Indonesia’s overall infection rate, they said. One source said that, among several options, presidential advisers were examining the lockdowns in India, where a fivefold increase in infections in little over a month was fully reversed in a similar time frame. If guidelines followed by Indian states were adopted in Indonesia, lockdowns would be introduced in 31 of its 34 provinces where positivity rates are at 10 per cent or higher. Adjusting for population size, Indonesia has about 40% of the intensive care beds in India, according to a study last year by Princeton University. On Friday, the health minister announced plans for 7,000 more hospital beds in Jakarta dedicated to COVID-19 patients. Uno said at least 15 hotels close to hospitals with up to 2,000 beds also have been identified as places where patients with milder symptoms could be treated. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s food and drug agency on Monday approved the COVID-19 vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech for children aged 12-17.

(Reporting by Tom Allard in Jakarta and Kate Lamb in Sydney; Additional reporting in Jakarta by Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Stanley Widianto; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Bernadette Baum)

Hundreds of vaccinated Indonesian health workers get COVID-19, dozens in hospital

By Kate Lamb, Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Stanley Widianto

JAKARTA (Reuters) -More than 350 doctors and medical workers have caught COVID-19 in Indonesia despite being vaccinated with Sinovac and dozens have been hospitalized, officials said, as concerns grow about the efficacy of some vaccines against more infectious variants.

Most of the workers were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home, said Badai Ismoyo, head of the health office in the district of Kudus in central Java, but dozens were in hospital with high fevers and falling oxygen-saturation levels.

Kudus, which has about 5,000 healthcare workers, is battling an outbreak believed to be driven by the more transmissible Delta variant, which has raised its bed occupancy rates above 90%.

Designated as a priority group, healthcare workers were among the first to be vaccinated when inoculations began in January.

Almost all have received the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) says.

While the number of Indonesian healthcare workers dying from COVID-19 has dropped sharply from 158 in January to 13 in May, according to data initiative group LaporCOVID-19, public health experts say the Java hospitalizations are cause for concern.

“The data shows they have the Delta variant (in Kudus) so it is no surprise that the breakthrough infection is higher than before, because, as we know, the majority of healthcare workers in Indonesia got Sinovac, and we still don’t know yet how effective it is in the real world against the Delta variant,” said Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Australia’s Griffith University.

A spokesperson from Sinovac was not immediately available for comment on the efficacy of the Chinese firm’s CoronaVac against newer variants of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) approved emergency use of Sinovac’s vaccine this month, saying results showed it prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of recipients and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospital stays.

As Indonesia grappled with one of Asia’s worst outbreaks, with over 1.9 million infections and 53,000 deaths, its doctors and nurses have suffered a heavy toll of 946 deaths.

Many are now experiencing pandemic fatigue and taking a less vigilant approach to health protocols after being vaccinated, said Lenny Ekawati, from the independent health-linked data group LaporCOVID-19.

Across Indonesia, at least five doctors and one nurse have died from COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, according to LaporCOVID-19, although one had only received a first shot.

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a senior health ministry official, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how many doctors have died since the vaccination program began.

In Kudus, one senior doctor has died, said IDI.

Nadia said there had been no deaths in Kudus since a new outbreak began in the past several weeks among medical workers and that those who contracted COVID-19 have had mild symptoms.

In Jakarta, the capital, radiologist Dr. Prijo Sidipratomo told Reuters he knew of at least half a dozen doctors hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past month despite being vaccinated, with one now being treated in an ICU.

“It is alarming for us because we cannot rely on vaccinations only,” he said, urging people to take precautions.

Weeks after the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holidays, Indonesia has experienced a surge in cases, with the positivity rate exceeding 23% on Wednesday and daily cases nearing 10,000, its highest since late February.

In its latest report, the WHO urged Indonesia to tighten its lockdown amid increased transmission and a surge in bed occupancy rates.

(Reporting by Kate Lamb in Sydney and Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Stanley Widianto in Jakarta; Editing by Michael Perry, Clarence Fernandez and Bernadette Baum)

COVID-19 far more widespread in Indonesia than official data show – studies

By Tom Allard

JAKARTA (Reuters) – COVID-19 is many times more prevalent in Indonesia than shown by official figures in the world’s fourth most populous country, authors of two new studies told Reuters.

The country of 270 million has recorded 1.83 million positive cases, but epidemiologists have long believed the true scale of the spread has been obscured by a lack of testing and contact tracing.

The results of Indonesia’s first major seroprevalence studies – which test for antibodies – were revealed exclusively to Reuters.

One nationwide study between December and January suggested 15% of Indonesians had already contracted COVID-19 – when official figures at the end of January had recorded infections among only around 0.4% of people.

Even now, Indonesia’s total positive infections are only around 0.7% of the population.

The results of the survey were not unexpected given under reporting, said Pandu Riono, a University of Indonesia epidemiologist who worked on the study carried out with help from the World Health Organization.

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a senior health ministry official, said it was possible the study was preliminary, but there might be more cases than officially reported because many cases were asymptomatic.

She said Indonesia had low contact tracing and a lack of laboratories to process tests.

Based on blood tests, seroprevalence studies detect antibodies which show up people who likely already contracted the disease. The official figures are largely based on swab tests, which detect the virus itself and only reveal those who have it at the time.

Antibodies develop one to three weeks after someone contracts the virus and stay in the body for months.

WEAK TESTING

Seroprevalence studies in other countries – including India – have also revealed more widespread infections.

“Our official surveillance system cannot detect COVID-19 cases. It is weak,” said the principal investigator for the University of Indonesia study, Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono, who commented on it but was not authorized to confirm the figures.

“Contact tracing and testing in Indonesia is very poor and explains why so few cases are detected.”

Fellow study author Pandu said that although the study showed the wider spread of the virus, Indonesia still appeared to be far from achieving herd immunity – making it a priority to speed up vaccination.

Just 6% of Indonesia’s targeted population of 181 million have been fully vaccinated with two doses so far, while 9.4% have had one shot, according to government data.

Preliminary results of a separate seroprevalence study in Bali, done by the University of Udayana, found 17 per cent of those tested in September and November appeared to have been infected, principal investigator Anak Agung Sagung Sawitri told Reuters.

That was 53 times higher than rate of infection based on the cases officially recorded at the time on the tourist island, which is planning to reopen to international visitors next month.

The reopening is opposed by some public health experts, including academic and doctor Ady Wirawan.

“Testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine is very, very weak in Bali,” he said.

(Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Kim Coghill)

‘No warnings’: Powerful cyclone exposes Indonesia’s lack of preparedness

By Emanuel Dile Bataona and Agustinus Beo Da Costa

LEMBATA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Gregorius Hide, a 70-year-old farmer in the eastern Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara, said the only warning he had of an approaching swirl of muddy water that engulfed his district this week was a smell of wet earth shortly before it hit.

Tropical cyclone Seroja, one of the most powerful cyclones ever to hit Indonesia, struck on Sunday killing 163 people, mostly on the islands of Lembata, Alor and Adonara, among the poorest and least developed parts of Indonesia.

The sprawling archipelago, which is made up of more than 17,000 islands, is used to dealing with disasters ranging from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions. But cyclones of this power have been rare, leaving many areas poorly prepared.

“There were no government warnings in the village,” said Gregorius, recounting how he managed to flee with his family before returning to help treat injured neighbors and assist those who had lost everything.

Authorities will need to learn fast from the disaster since Indonesia’s weather agency (BMKG) has warned once-rare tropical cyclones are happening more often, with another potentially damaging cyclone due to hit this week.

Activists and researchers point to a slow response to Seroja, with little early warning infrastructure in place.

“We should’ve evacuated faster, like predicting when it would happen, who to evacuate,” said Dominikus Karangora of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), a non-governmental group, in East Nusa Tenggara.

Some residents used traditional means to warn people, with reports of mosques using loudspeakers and church bells to warn of imminent danger.

Indonesia’s weather agency feeds warnings to local disaster mitigation agencies and also provides warnings on its website.

Isyak Nuka, head of the disaster mitigation agency in East Nusa Tenggara, said such measures were usually effective, but the scale of flash floods and landslides was “unprecedented”.

Isyak pledged to use this disaster as a lesson to strengthen the system.

Erma Yulihastin, a climatologist at the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, said Seroja was an anomaly in its destructive force since such cyclones do not usually gain traction in a country straddling the equator.

“Tropical cyclones don’t happen that much, but when they happen the damage is extraordinary,” she said.

Agie Wandala Putra, a researcher at BMKG, said Indonesia’s preparedness was currently skewed towards guarding against disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis and needed to put more attention on events like flooding, cyclones and droughts.

“What needs to be emphasized is not just early warning, but also our response capacity,” he said.

(Reporting by Emanuel Dile Bataona in Lembata and Agustinus Beo Da Costa in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Stanley Widianto and Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta; Editing by Ed Davies and Tom Hogue)

Rescuers hunt for survivors after cyclone kills 119 in Indonesia

By Agustinus Beo Da Costa

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Rescuers searched for dozens missing in the remote islands of southeast Indonesia on Tuesday, as reinforcements arrived to help in the aftermath of a tropical cyclone that killed at least 119 people.

Helicopters were deployed to aid the search, and ships carrying food, water, blankets and medicine reached ports previously blocked by high waves whipped up by tropical cyclone Seroja, which brought heavy rain and triggered deadly floods and landslides on Sunday.

Indonesia’s disaster agency BNPB revised upwards the death toll from the cyclone in the East Nusa Tenggara islands, after earlier saying 86 had died. Seventy-six people were still missing.

“The rescue team is moving on the ground. The weather is good,” BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati told a news briefing.

Search and rescue personnel, however, had trouble transporting heavy equipment for use in the search.

“Search for victims is constrained, the existing heavy equipment cannot be sent to their destination, especially in Adonara and Alor,” the head of BNPB, Doni Monardo, said.

The Adonara and Alor islands were among the islands worst hit by the cyclone, with 62 and 21 people dead respectively.

Aerial images from Adonara on Tuesday showed brown mud and flood water covering a vast area, burying houses, roads and trees.

The military and volunteers arrived on the islands on Tuesday and were setting up public kitchens, while medical workers were brought in.

Video taken by a local official in Tanjung Batu village on Lembata, home to the Ile Lewotolok volcano, showed felled trees and large rocks of cold lava that had crushed homes after being dislodged by the cyclone.

Thousands of people have been displaced, nearly 2,000 buildings including a hospital were impacted, and more than 100 homes heavily damaged by the cyclone.

Two people died in nearby West Nusa Tenggara province.

There were also concerns about possible COVID-19 infections in crowded evacuation centers.

In neighboring East Timor, at least 33 were killed in floods and landslides and by falling trees. Civil defense authorities were using heavy equipment to search for survivors.

“The number of victims could still increase because many victims have not been found,” the main director of civil protection, Ismael da Costa Babo, told Reuters.

“They were buried by landslides and carried away by floods.”

Some residents of Lembata island may have also been washed away by mud into the sea.

A volcano that erupted on Lembata last month wiped out vegetation atop the mountain, which allowed hardened lava to slide towards 300 houses when the cyclone struck, a senior district official said, hoping help was on the way.

“We were only able to search on the seashore, not in the deeper area, because of lack of equipment yesterday,” Thomas Ola Langoday told Reuters by phone.

He feared many bodies were still buried under large rocks.

President Joko Widodo urged his cabinet to speed up evacuation and relief efforts and to restore power.

Weather agency head Dwikorita Karnawati said once-rare tropical cyclones were happening more often in Indonesia and climate change could be to blame.

“Seroja is the first time we’re seeing tremendous impact because it hit the land. It’s not common,” she said.

(Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Stanley Widianto and Bernadette Christina Munthe in Jakarta and Nelson Da Cruz in Dili; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo and Fathin Ungku; Editing by Martin Petty, Tom Hogue and Bernadette Baum)

Tropical cyclone kills at least 113 in Indonesia, East Timor

By Yos Seran and Agustinus Beo Da Costa

MALAKA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Floods and landslides triggered by tropical cyclone Seroja in a cluster of islands in southeast Indonesia and East Timor have killed 113 people, with many still unaccounted for and thousands displaced, officials said on Monday.

At least 86 deaths were reported on several islands in Indonesia’s West and East Nusa Tenggara provinces, while 71 others were missing, after the cyclone brought flash floods, landslides and strong winds amid heavy rain over the weekend, disaster agency BNPB said.

In East Timor, which shares the Timor island with Indonesia, at least 27 people were killed by landslides, flash floods and a falling tree, while 7,000 were displaced, its government said.

On Lembata island, authorities feared bodies had been washed away.

“We are using rubber boats to find bodies at sea. In several villages, flash floods hit while people were sleeping,” Thomas Ola Langoday, deputy head of Lembata district government, told Reuters by phone.

About 30,000 people have been impacted by floods in Indonesia, some already taking shelter in evacuation centers, but rescue operations have been made difficult after five bridges collapsed and falling trees blocked some roads, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said.

A continuing storm had also halted evacuations in some places, local authorities said.

Hundreds of houses and other facilities such as a solar power plant were damaged, BNPB said. Ships and motor boats sank as the cyclone set off waves as high as 6 meters.

Powerful currents continued to flow through villages in the Malaka district on Timor island on Monday, even though the rain had stopped.

Some residents there hauled themselves to their roofs to escape flood water rising to 3-4 meters.

“We had to dismantle the zinc roof. We went out through the back door and pulled ourselves out with a rope,” Agustina Luruk, 36, told Reuters as she and her three daughters waited to be evacuated by the side of a muddy road.

President Joko Widodo offered his condolences and ordered speedy disaster relief efforts.

The Seroja cyclone hit the Savu sea southwest of Timor island in the early hours of Monday, Indonesia’s weather agency said.

Within 24 hours, the cyclone’s intensity could strengthen, bringing yet more rain, waves and winds, although it was moving away from Indonesia, the agency said.

Dwikorita Karnawati, the agency’s head, said that the cyclone would be weakening in the next two days.

(Reporting by Yos Seran in Malaka, Agustinus Beo Da Costa in Jakarta, Nelson Da Cruz in Dili; Additional reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Martin Petty, Giles Elgood, Kirsten Donovan)