A massive environmental disaster in Sidoarjo, Indonesia, has forced 15,000 people to leave their homes in the past two years. An enormous eruption of hot mud that began in May 2006 continues to flow at a rate of 148,000 cubic metres a day. Activists hold Indonesian oil and gas company PT Lapindo Brantas responsible. They charge that the eruption was caused by a gas drilling operation on unstable volcanic land.
On February 19, thousands of environmental refugees protested against a parliamentary report that labelled the eruption a natural disaster. "We will ease the blockade if [parliament] calls it a human error, but we will stay here if parliament calls the mudflow a natural disaster", a local villager, Orasi Djoko, told Reuters on February 19.