Indonesia: Floods Leave Two Dead, Three Missing in Bandung, West Java

Antara 13 Mar 16;

Jakarta (Antara News)- Floods have left two dead and three others missing in Bandung District, West Java Province, as Citarum River overflowed following incessant heavy rains since Tuesday (March 8).

The downpours caused flooding in 15 regions in Bandung District, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said in a statement, here, on Sunday.

The flood-affected regions are Cicalengka, Rancaekek, Cileunyi, Solokan Jeruk, Majalaya, Ciparay, Baleendah, Dayeuhkolot, Bojongsoang, Pameungpeuk, Banjaran, Arjasri, Cangkuang, Katapang and Kutawaringin.

The flooding forced more than three thousand people to evacuate themselves to higher grounds, and affected some 5,900 families comprising 24 thousand people.

The floodwaters reached a height of between 80 cm to three meters, particularly in villages near the river bank.

The dead victims were Risa, 13, and Ela, 40, who lived in Sawahluhur, Sukasari village, Pameungpeuk Sub-district.

Elas husband and two daughters were missing as the building where they were staying and is located near the river bank, collapsed after being swept away by flash floods.

A joint team of the Bandung Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) are currently looking for the three missing victims.

The downpours also triggered a landslide in Lemburkebon area, Padasuka village, Kutawaringin Sub-district, Bandung.

The landslide seriously damaged one house, but did not claim any lives.

BNPB Chief Willem Rampangilei has instructed evacuation of the natural disasters victims. They are currently being accommodated in local governments offices, schools and mosques.

The Bandung district head is expected to declare a flood emergency status soon to accelerate the rescue efforts.

On March 2, the BNPB chief told the press that his office recorded floods and landslides in 260 cities and regencies since the beginning of the year and until February 26.

"Forty-six people died in the disasters and 16 sustained injuries, while as many as 1,083,104 people were displaced," Willem Rampangilei stated.

Potatoes cause landslides in Wonosobo, research finds
Arientha Primanita, thejakartapost.com 10 Mar 16;

Potatoes are partly to blame for a recent landslide in Wonosobo, Central Java, as farmers engage in unsafe planting practices that harm the environment to try to reap high prices amid the area's status as Indonesia's largest potato producer, the results of a study revealed on Thursday.

The short potato roots are a major factor in soil erosion leading to landslides in Wonosobo, a study by the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) entitled “Forest Ownership and Management in Indonesia” revealed.

"Domestic potato prices rose an average of 35 percent between 2010 to 2014. Because of this farmers are driven to plant crops that put themselves and surrounding communities at risk," CIPS Trade and Livelihood researcher Hizkia Respatiadi said in a statement sent to thejakartapost.com on Thursday.

Part of the study took part in Wonosobo regency, where Kejajar subdistrict, Dieng Plateau, is the biggest potato producer in the country.

As reported earlier, heavy rain triggered a landslides on Tuesday evening that covered the road connecting Wonosobo to Dieng Plateau.

Dieng Plateau, spanning Wonosobo and Banjarnegara regencies in Central Java, is a popular tourist destination in Central Java that has highlands, beautiful scenery and sacred temples.

The area is the country's biggest producer of potatoes, with most residents working as potato farmers. Potato takes less time to grow -- three months compared to six months for tobacco.

The study found that protectionist trade policies, such as the 2012 Food Law that bans food imports, are driving up domestic food prices.

“We need better incentives through informed trade policies that encourage farmers to grow crops more suited to their environment so that they can earn a decent living without putting their and others' lives at risk,” Hizkia said.

Landslides could be prevented if local communities had rights over their forest resources, the study suggested.

Residents of Buntu village in Wonosobo acknowledged the likelihood of a landslide occurring if state-owned forestry firm Perhutani were to cut down trees located uphill from their homes. Thus, residents must be involved in forest management as they are directly affected by forestry activities.

“Local communities must have secure property rights over forests, because they are the ones who know what will affect their living environments," Hizkia added.

The study shows that local community involvement and ownership of forest resources can improve sustainable forest management. (rin)

Floods submerge 35 thousand houses in Bandung district
Antara 13 Mar 16;

Flood in Baleendah, Bandung District, West Java. (ANTARA FOTO/Fahrul Jayadiputra)
Bandung, W Java (ANTARA News) - Floods triggered by incessant heavy rains and the overflowing of Citarum River, have submerged some 35 thousand houses in the districts of Dayeuhkolot, Baleendah and Bojongsoang in Bandung District, West Java Province.

"This flooding is the worst over the past 10 years. The floodwaters have reached a height of up to 3.3 meters," Coordinator of Bandungs Disaster-Alert Youth, said on the phone, Sunday.

The office of Dayeuhkolot Sub-district administration, which had never been flooded since 20 years ago, is now inundated at a height of 35 cm, he said.

In the meantime, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said in a statement in Jakarta, on Sunday that the floods left two dead and three others missing in Bandung District.

The dead victims were Risa, 13, and Ela, 40, who lived in Sawahluhur, Sukasari village, Pameungpeuk Sub-district.

Elas husband and two daughters were missing as the building where they were staying and is located near the river bank, collapsed after being swept away by flash floods.

The floods affected 15 regions, namely Cicalengka, Rancaekek, Cileunyi, Solokan Jeruk, Majalaya, Ciparay, Baleendah, Dayeuhkolot, Bojongsoang, Pameungpeuk, Banjaran, Arjasri, Cangkuang, Katapang and Kutawaringin.

The flooding forced more than three thousand people to evacuate themselves to higher grounds, and affected some 5,900 families comprising 24 thousand people.

(F001)

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