Indonesia: Two die, hundreds of homes damaged as floods hit regions

Agus Maryono and Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 21 Sep 16;

Two people have died in floods in Cilacap regency, Central Java, over the past three days. The victims were residents of Mujur village in Kroya district and Kalisabuk village in Kesugihan district, respectively.

“Both of them were swept away and drowned when crossing floodwater around their houses. We found their bodies and handed them to their families,” Cilacap Search and Rescue Agency member Gunawan told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

At least 300 houses in Central Java, largely in Banyumas and Cilacap regencies, were engulfed by up to 1 meter of floodwater triggered by constant downpours over the past two days. No fatalities were reported, but hundreds of people have been evacuated to safety.

Cilacap Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Tri Komara Sidhy said the floods were caused by a number of overflowing rivers due to continuous heavy rains in the southern part of Central Java.

“Around 150 residents in Sidareja district, Cilacap, took refuge in mosques and village meeting halls,” Tri said on Monday.

Rains continue to pour over some parts of Central Java and could cause extended floods.

Floods inundated several villages in Patimuan district, where hundreds of hectares of rice fields were engulfed, putting them at risk of crop failure.

Floods in Cilacap also swamped several villages in Kroya district. In Banyumas regency, flooding hit Tambak and Sumpiuh districts where dozens of houses and hundreds of hectares of rice fields were inundated.

“If rain continues for the next couple of days, floods will definitely hit us as we are subject to flooding every rainy season,” said Sumpiuh resident Saridin, 43.

The northern parts of Riau’s eastern coast have been hit by tidal flooding since Sunday, when thousands of homes and public facilities were engulfed by water.

In Dumai, Riau, floods hit the three districts of West, South and East Dumai. The flooding is the most severe in five years, with the water level in a number of places reaching more than 50 centimeters.

“Tidal flooding is actually commonplace in coastal areas such as Dumai, but usually floods only submerge the streets, but only now seawater got into our house,” Buluh Kasap subdistrict resident Dewi Purwanti said on Tuesday.

As the area had not been hit by floods in previous years, she said she was at a loss as to how to salvage her household items.

“For the time being, I have placed them at my parents’ house which is two stories and safe from flooding, because the flooding occurs twice a day — in the morning at around 6:30 a.m. which subsides before noon, and again in the evening,” she said.

A number of streets, such as Jl. Budi Kemuliaan, Jl. Cempedak, Jl. Ombak and Jl. Sultan Syarif Kasim, were impassable to traffic due to deep puddles. On Jl. Cempedak, residents placed a barricade to prevent motorists from passing.

Floods also prompted elementary school SDN Rimba Sekampung 01 in the city to send home pupils early.

On Monday, first, second and sixth graders only attended school until 9 a.m. as lessons were stopped when water continued rising. On Tuesday, first and second graders were given the day off while sixth graders studied for a while with their shoes off.

Dumai Health Office’s disease control and environmental health affairs head Romauli warned that people were prone to contracting various diseases during tidal floods, especially children.

“They are most vulnerable to skin diseases, diarrhea and rat-borne ordi rodentia. That’s why residents are urged not to let children bathe in pools of sea water, and well water that has been contaminated by floods should not be used anymore,” he said.

10 dead after flash flood and landslides hit in W. Java
The Jakarta Post 21 Sep 16;

At least 10 people have died and three are missing after a flash flood and landslides struck Garut and Sumedang in West Java in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The flash flood struck Bayongbong, Karangpawitan, in Garut regency, at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning after heavy rainfall covered the area from Tuesday evening. The rainfall caused the Cimanuk and Cikamuri rivers to overflow, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Wednesday.

The flashflood in Garut resulted in the deaths of eight people. Many others are injured and hundreds of people have had to leave their homes, Sutopo said, citing data from the Garut Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD).

The flood reached up to two meters in height after just three hours of rainfall.

"Right now, most of the flood has subsided, but [the disaster] shows that the river basin of Cimanuk River was in a critical condition," Sutopo said as reported by kompas.com.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening, landslides in Cimareme village, Sumedang regency, buried two houses. Two people have been found dead and two others are thought to be buried in the landslides.

A BNPB quick response team and the West Java BPBD have deployed personnel to help search for the missing victims and to assist the Garut BPBD and the Sumendang BPBD. (rin)


Death toll from Indonesia floods, landslides, rises to 19
Channel NewsAsia 20 Sep 16;

JAKARTA: The death toll from a series of landslides and flash floods in Indonesia climbed to 19 on Wednesday (Sep 21), an official said, including several children found by rescuers scouring for survivors.

The worst-hit region was the west of Indonesia's main island of Java, where torrential downpours in Garut saw floodwaters quickly rise to 2 metres (6.5 feet), national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

"The official report (from Garut) ... is that 16 people were killed and eight others are still missing," he said.

Among the dead from the fast-rising floods were an eight-month-old toddler and four other children under the age of ten, Sutopo added, citing a casualty report from the local disaster agency in Garut.

More than one thousand people have been forced from their homes in the district and are taking shelter in nearby emergency tents set up by search and rescue teams.

Elsewhere in West Java, the death toll from a landslide in Sumedang regency rose to three, with one other person still believed missing beneath an avalanche of mud and rock.

The landslide left two others injured and destroyed a mosque, Sutopo added.

Landslides and flooding are common in Indonesia, a vast tropical archipelago prone to natural disasters and torrential downpours.

The country's disaster agency has warned people to be alert for disasters this wet season as a La Nina weather phenomenon threatens unseasonably heavy rain.

In June nearly 50 people died when heavy downpours sent torrents of water, mud and rock surging into villages in Central Java, another densely-populated province on Indonesia's main island.

- AFP/ec

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