Skip to comments.Embassy can build bomb-proof wall
Posted on 09/15/2004 10:16:35 PM PDT by naturalman1975
AUSTRALIA'S embassy in Jakarta will be allowed to build a high bomb-proof outer wall in the wake of last week's terrorist car bomb after city officials dropped opposition to the idea.
Australian ambassador David Ritchie along with his American and British counterparts met Jakarta governor and former general Sutiyoso yesterday to discuss building high-security blast walls outside the three western embassies.
US ambassador Ralph Boyce has been pushing for planning permission to build a 3m-high concrete and steel wall outside the American embassy for some time.
But Jakarta officials had resisted the idea, claiming it would be unsightly. Until now planning rules allowed only 1.5m-high walls.
Australia's embassy and the British mission are both built on key thoroughfares and sit close to passing traffic.
They are considered more vulnerable than the US embassy complex, which is separated from a road by a wide open space guarded by a large paramilitary police contingent.
Due to planning rules, the Australian mission had been protected by a special fence constructed of steel tubes designed to soak up some of the force of the blast.
Ambassador Ritchie earlier this week said the fence had worked perfectly and he said Canberra was "not convinced" a bomb-proof wall would have done a better job.
But the meeting yesterday will clear the way for a stronger wall to be constructed if security experts decide it is needed.
"We should allow them to build the strong walls," Mr Sutiyoso told the Jakarta Post.
"We must do our utmost to make them feel safe here."
An Australian embassy spokeswoman confirmed the meeting took place.
"We are working through a range of options on security measures for the embassy," she told AAP.
She said a wall being erected this week to plug a hole torn open by the blast was unlikely to be permanent.
"The experts are up here and they are sorting it all out," she said. "We are reviewing all the different possibilities."
Mr Sutiyoso said the proposed embassy walls would be torn down when "when the situation here has become safer".
I hope they meant bomb resistant because bomb proof would not be realistic.
Typical design calls for 1.5 times the building height to form a token blast proof wall (depending on building depth from the wall). They treat it like a simple wave tank problem. This is typically used where there isn't sufficient space or distance between the protected structure and surrounding infrastructure/parcels owned by others.
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