Indonesia: Thousands Forced to Flee as Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in E. Java

About 5,000 people from 11 affected villages in Gresik district of East Java were forced to evacuate their homes on Monday (08/02) when torrential rains caused the Kali Lamong River to breach its banks.
Aries Sudiono Jakarta Globe 9 Feb 16;

Gresik, East Java. More than 2,000 homes and hundreds of hectares of agricultural land were submerged on Monday (08/02) when torrential rains in Gresik district of East Java caused the Kali Lamong River to breach its banks. This resulted in three levees to collapse, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate to higher ground.

The levees — located at Gedangan village in Sukodadi subdistrict, Ploso Wahyu village in Kota subdistrict, and Tambakploso village in Turi subdistrict — were swept away by the raging water due to the heavy downpours in the area since Monday.

About 5,000 people from 11 affected villages were forced to seek shelter at relatives' homes as the flood waters rose to as high as 100 centimeters on Monday. The water level receded to about 40 centimeters by Tuesday.

Two major roads in Gresik were also knee-deep under water in some sections.

“[The water] is gone now but last night [Monday] nearly a one-kilometer stretch of the road was flooded, particularly in front of the Bulurejo [local] market,” Gresik District Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chief Abu Hasan said on Tuesday.

Abu added that the BPBD had distributed some food to the displaced residents, but did not elaborate on what the agency had done to alleviate the disaster.

The Kali Lamong River is one of the offshoots of the iconic Bengawan Solo River that flows through both Central and East Java.

Heavy rains trigger landslides, claim lives
Syofiardi Bachyul Jb and Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post 9 Feb 16;

Heavy rain continued to pour across the country on Monday, causing disasters that resulted in the deaths of several people.

High rainfall in West Sumatra from Saturday triggered landslides and floods across six regencies and cities, killing four residents while at least two others are presumed dead. The disaster cut access from the province to Kerinci regency in Jambi and areas in Riau, forcing 6,000 people to evacuate.

West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Zulfiatno claimed that six people were killed when their house in Jorong Taratak Tinggi, South Solok regency, West Sumatra, was buried by a landslide on Monday at 3 a.m.

“Four of the victims were found dead, while two others are still missing as of this afternoon. We have yet to confirm the names of the victims,” Zulfiatno told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He said another victim, identified as Fadri, 16, was reportedly swept by an overflowing river in Limapuluh Kota regency as he was fishing.

Landslides and flooding continued from Saturday until Monday morning, affecting Solok city as well as Limapuluh Kota, Sijunjung, South Solok, Agam and Pasaman regencies.

“Flood victims were evacuated to safer areas as floodwaters engulfed homes at a level of up to 2 meters. They are in need of aid, such as foodstuffs and clothing,” said Zulfiatno.

In Limapuluh Kota, Pangkalan district was engulfed by 2 meters of water as a number of rivers burst their banks. The floodwater also swamped government offices and the Pangkalan Police station. Cars parked at a nearby market were submerged up to their roofs.

In Central Java, the bodies of seven people killed on Friday in a landslide in Penungkulan village, Purworejo regency, have been found, and the search was officially stopped on Sunday afternoon.

“The two latest victims were found on Sunday at 5 p.m. local time. A total of seven victims were found and the recovery effort has been stopped,” National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Yogyakarta chapter operational head Asbani said on Monday.

They were identified as Salimah, 60, and Triyanto, 9, while the five other victims were Sarengat and Sumini, both 80, Suprapti, 45, Fitri, 16 and Erni Yulianto, 8.

The landslide, which occurred around 8 p.m. on Friday after several days of heavy rain, caused a 30-meter cliff to collapse, burying two houses.

Asbani said his agency had deployed two rescue teams, each consisting of 15 members.

In Riau, high rainfall over recent days triggered floods in a number of villages in Rambah and Rokan IV Koto districts, Rokan Hulu regency.

In Rokan IV Koto, thousands of homes in four villages and two subdistricts were engulfed on Sunday by the overflowing Mentawai and Palis rivers, whose levels rose 3 meters higher than usual.

The water also swept away the Sei Mentawai Bridge, which is the only access route to Sipang Kiri, Cipang Kiri Hulu, Tibawan and Kubang Buaya villages.

In East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), a nine-day search for Theresia Madis, 68, who was swept away by water from the overflowing Wae Togong River in Sambi Rampas district, East Manggarai, remained unsuccessful as of Sunday.

“We have been searching for the victim for nine days,” East Manggarai BPBD head Antonius Dergon told the Post.

In Siru village, Flores, NTT, rescuers managed to find two victims who were swept away by the Wae Laci River.

Rizal Harahap in Pekanbaru and Markus Makur in East Manggarai contributed to this article

Hundreds of flood victims evacuated in Bangka Belitung 9 Feb 16;

Hundreds of residents of Lampur Village, Bangka Belitung province, were evacuated from their houses on Tuesday after water levels reaching up to 3 meters in height inundated the area.

"The village is sheltering flood victims at a PT Timah building,” said Dani, a member of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

He explained that residents were asked to leave their homes temporarily due to the continuously rising water level caused by constant rainfall that started on Sunday and continued until Tuesday morning.

Armed with rubber boats, search and rescue (SAR) teams have been rescuing residents trapped in their homes, Dani continued.

The evacuation process was carried out in cooperation with village residents and officials, Dani said.

"Health officials are also on standby at temporary shelters," he added.

Assistance for victims is already flowing in from other residents in the form of human resources and food.

"Currently, our officers are alert and we urge the general public to be vigilant because the rain has not yet stopped," he said.

The areas around Central Bangka regency have also confronted severe floods.

Central Bangka BNPB head Kaharuddin said the floods had damaged infrastructure, destroying roads and bridges.

Kaharuddin added that rescue officers had been dispatched to several areas in the regency. (liz/bbn)(+)

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