Floods, landslides hit regions as rainy season prolonged
Source: The Jakarta Post
Date: 15 May 2020
Heavy rainfall throughout the week has caused floods and landslides in several provinces, as the rainy season is expected to be last longer than initially forecasted.
A downpour lasting from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning led to floods in Lebak regency, Banten, submerging dozens of houses in Cipanas district and destroying a bridge in Lebak Gedong district.
"Luckily, no casualties were reported," Cipanas resident Memed said on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.
Cipanas district head Oleh Najmudin said the 80-centimeter-deep flood struck at least 96 houses in three villages in the district – Sipayung, Talagahiang and Bintangresmi – at midnight while Muslims were having sahur (predawn meal).
Lebak Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) immediately warned residents, especially those living along riverbanks and the foothill of Mount Halimun-Salak, about the risk of landslides due to high-intensity rainfall.
"We hope this warning can reduce the risk of fatalities," BPBD Lebak head Kaprawi said, urging residents to temporarily move to safer places. The agency is gathering volunteers and equipment for search and rescue teams.
A child plays with his bicycle at the flooded Gubukan Cibereum village in Lebak, Banten on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Floodwater from the overflowed Cibereum River has inundated the village since Wednesday evening.
(Antara/Muhammad Bagus Khoirunas)
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) issued a warning of extreme weather in several parts of Indonesia last week. The agency said the rainy season, initially forecasted to end in April, would stretching to May in Jakarta and June in other parts of Java.
The BMKG has also warned of extreme weather in other areas, including Aceh, Riau, Riau Islands, Bengkulu, South Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi and several parts of Kalimantan.
Overnight torrential rain also caused flooding and a landslide in Bogor regency, West Java, where dozens of houses in Sukamulih village were submerged. Meanwhile, dozens of others in Wangunjaya village were buried in a landslide.
Bogor Regent Ade Yasin said the floods had been caused by the overflowing Ciputih River.
"I have instructed the local BPBD and district officials to disburse disaster aid and map areas affected by the disasters."
BPBD Bogor reported that at least one Wangunjaya resident had gone missing, presumably buried in the landslide. Four residents were also injured during the disaster.
The landslide in Wangunjaya displaced 69 families and damaged 14 houses, two public lavatories and a mosque.
Heavy rain on Wednesday afternoon also caused a flash flood and landslide in several villages in Central Aceh regency, Aceh. The landslide was triggered by unstable soil conditions at a nearby hill.
At least 11 houses were damaged, while water and mud from the flood carried away debris and objects as large as private cars.
Joint search and rescue team operates heavy machinery to clean flood materials at Paya Tumpi Baru village in Central Aceh regency, Aceh on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Overnight torrential rain has triggered a flash flood that damages dozens of houses in the village. (Antara/Kurnia Muhadi)
"We are waiting for the rapid assessment report from BPBD Central Aceh on the victims and material losses," said BPBD Aceh head Sunawardi.
Idrus Putra, the head of the affected Paya Tumpi Baru village, said 20 families were taking shelter in the village administration office. He went on to say that the village needed generators and clean water.
Since late April, flash floods have hit Tuva village in Central Sulawesi, Bireun in Aceh and Cilegon city in Banten.