06 January, 2009

Blocked by Landslide

. 06 January, 2009

The first visit to Tampahan in 2009. We went to Tampahan, my late parents in law's home village in 4 January 2009. We spent only one night there, just to see the house, visit the cemetery of my parents in law and to greet the elder who take care of the house and the cemetery. In the morning of 5 January we were ready for going back to Medan. Before departing, as usual we crossed the road off to say goodbye to ompungboru, a younger sister of my husband’s late grand mother. Somebody told that there has been a landslide between Parapat and Siantar in the midnight, but the street was completely cleared already last night by the authority according to them to ensure us to not worry about the trip back to Medan.

It is the last day of long vacation, and so many people spent their holiday in Parapat will be back to Medan at least after breakfast. Avoiding traffic jam, we decided to depart early in the morning. The street was so deserted, so my husband drove the car slowly and relaxed. I tried to call the police at Parapat to make sure about the landslide, but the phone was always engaged. So we stopped by at Singgalang restaurant for a while to asked somebody there. A restaurant owner who is so kind told us that the street is cleaned already. We went off continue heading to Medan. Only 20 minutes from Parapat we were stopped by police men and we saw tractors pulling some rocks lying on the middle of the street. There were still rocks remain on the street. The rocks fell down from the street side hill.

The location where it happened is called Batuloting, means fire rocks. The rocks' friction will make fire. I saw the workers burning the rocks whenever the rocks are too heavy to be tilted up and to pull away. There are 3 cars prior to our car and many cars made a long queue behind us. The street is only passable for one car, so the policemen organized the cars to pass by the street in turn. The cars headed to Parapat were the first turn to pass by, and then after around 30 minutes waiting it’s our turn to head for Medan.

That was the very first time for me to see from a short distance how big rocks from the hill lying on the street. I can’t imagine what will happen when this rock falling down on the passing cars underneath. Luckily we only had to wait for around 30 minutes for the tractors to remove the rocks.


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