Indonesia: Weekend downpours inundate several parts of Java

Suherdjoko, Ganug Nugroho Adi and Agus Maryono The Jakarta Post 11 Oct 16;

Heavy rains in nearly all parts of Java over the weekend have resulted in flooding, forcing hundreds to seek temporary shelter while one remains missing.

Three Semarang State University students were swept away by a flash flood in a river near their campus in Semarang, Central Java, as they took part in a student activity on Sunday afternoon. Two students were rescued, but a student named Dwi Wahyu Kurnia, 18, remained missing as of Monday afternoon.

Semarang National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas Semarang) head Agus Haryono said on Monday that the students were in the middle of the Curug River in Banaran, Gunungpati, Semarang, for the activity when the flash food occurred. Initially 11 students were swept away by the swift currents, but eight of them saved themselves, while three were swept away.

“Currently, the search and rescue team, assisted by a community group of around 90 people, are looking for the missing. We combed along the river estuary,” said Agus.

Heavy rains from Sunday evening also triggered floods in Cilacap, Central Java, on Monday. The floods hit at least 10 villages in Kedungreja, Patimuan and Sidareja districts in Cilacap regency. No casualties were reported, but hundreds of homes were engulfed by floods and forced residents to take shelter.

In addition, the main road in Patimuan district, Cilacap, was also inundated, causing congestion going toward Pangandaran, West Java, due to the overflowing Pelimpahan River to the nearby highway.

“The water level on the highway is currently 40 centimeters,” said Cilacap Disaster Mitigation Agency (Cilacap BPBD) head Tri Komara Sidhy on Monday.

Patimuan district chief Muji Utomo said the flooding cut off road access in the district at 8 a.m. on Monday.

“Water gradually increased from 40 cm to 1 meter and eventually cut off access to the road connecting the border of West Java, between Pangandaran and Cilacap regencies,” said Muji.

Downpours in Wonogiri regency, Central Java, on Saturday and Sunday triggered flooding in Eromoko and Giriwoyo districts, located in the southern part of the regency. At least six villages were engulfed by flood waters of up to 1-m-high.

Inundation occurred in Sindukerto, Baleharjo, Minggarharjo and Pucung villages, where dozens of homes and hundreds of hectares of rice fields were effected. As of Monday, hundreds of residents were evacuated as flood waters had yet to completely recede.

“Besides rain, flooding in the southern region caused drains to clog with garbage and mud,” said Wonogiri Disaster Mitigation Agency (Wonogiri BPBD) head Bambang Haryanto.

Around 30 residents in Tameng hamlet, Girikikis village in Giriwoyo district were trapped by 1-m-high flooding. The Wonogiri BPBD has dispatched medical supplies and food using bamboo rafts.

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