Indonesia survey shows massive coral death from cruise ship

JAKARTA: Indonesia says nearly 19,000 square meters of pristine coral reef was damaged by a foreign cruise ship that ran aground in waters off West Papua province earlier this month.

The extent of the damage, announced by the deputy maritime affairs minister this week following a survey of the Raja Ampat area, was worse than initially thought caused by the March 4 grounding.

Arif Havas Oegroseno, the deputy minister at the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, said the joint assessment by a national survey team and insurers found nearly 13,300 square meters suffered damage that was fatal to the coral.

He said another 5,600 square meters sustained lesser damage from shock waves of sand and broken coral sent out by the ship's maneuvers but has a 50 percent chance of dying.