Indonesia set one week out from 2018 Asian Games

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Indonesia suffered its deadliest terror attack in more than 10 years in May when suicide bombers killed 13 people in the nation’s second-biggest city Surabaya.Police say they have been rounding up terror suspects and petty criminals in a pre-Games crackdown.Haze headacheHaze from forest fires in Sumatra remains another potential headache for events in Palembang.But Indonesian meteorologists have been monitoring weather conditions closely and extinguishing hotspots.“We have been conducting weather modification efforts since May, including cloud seeding and water bombing,” Hary Tirto Djatmiko, spokesman for national meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency, told AFP.The Games’ preparation has not come without hiccups, however.Indonesians have made a mockery of the Jakarta government’s decision to cover a toxic river near the athletes’ village with black nylon mesh over fears it will be an eyesore at the showpiece event.Similarly, the city council was ridiculed for erecting Games’ banners with spelling mistakes.Some social media users have also questioned why city sanitation workers — and not artists — were chosen to paint Games’ murals in parts of the city. Palembang briefly made headlines last month when irate football fans ripped plastic seats from the stands after the home team lost and hurled them onto the pitch at a stadium scheduled to host the event.Still, excitement is building ahead of the Games.“The Asian Games atmosphere is quite obvious here in Palembang, we have murals everywhere and our LRT (light rail) is already running,” Palembang resident Nicky Anggraini told AFP.“I’m definitely going to watch the Games, I can’t wait,” she added.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Despite worries about Jakarta’s notorious traffic congestion, authorities say the implementation of an odd-even license plate system is already bearing results.“Traveling speed has improved by almost 60 percent, while travel time has improved 43 percent from 15.56 minutes per km to 8.86 minute per km,” Jakarta’s transportation agency chief, Andri Yansyah, told AFP.Athletes and officials will travel on dedicated road lanes and schools will be closed to take the daily commute of millions of pupils out of the equation.When Indonesia last hosted a major sports event, the 2011 SEA Games, two people died in a stadium stampede at the football final in Jakarta.In a bid to safeguard the event, some 40,000 troops and police officers will be deployed in Jakarta and Palembang.ADVERTISEMENT Indonesia started with less time than most host countries after it agreed to hold the Games when Vietnam pulled out.However, officials say they are ready to take the Games in their stride.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“There are no problems for the preparation so far, even if we have problems we will solve them right there right then,” chief organizer Erick Thohir told journalists Thursday.Seventy percent of tickets have been sold for the opening ceremony in the capital Jakarta next Saturday, he added. 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