West Papua: Floods hit residential areas in three sub-districts

BANJIR-WONDAMA-1-1 Logs and debris carried by floodwaters block the main roads in Wondama Bay district, West Papua, on Monday (May 30, 2022). Photo by: ANTARA/HO-Zack Tonu B

 Date: May 31, 2022

 Wasior, West Papua (ANTARA) - Floods triggered by incessant and heavy rains inundated residential areas in three sub-districts—Raisiei, Wondiboi, and Wasior—of Wondana Bay district, West Papua, on Monday.

Hundreds of houses in the areas were flooded after rains fell continuously from Sunday evening until Monday, causing several rivers to spill their banks, Aser Waroi, head of the Wondana Bay Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD), said.

The main roads in the three sub-districts were cut off as logs and rocks carried by the floodwater blocked the roads, he added.

"This flood is mainly due to high rainfall, while most rivers are full of materials so they can't accommodate the rain waters," he informed.

He said a team from Wondama Bay BPBD was collecting data on the damage caused by the flood, including to areas and community assets.

Based on temporary data collected as of Monday, one motorbike was reported missing in Raisiei sub-district due to the overflowing of Ati River. Floodwaters also submerged a number of houses in the Pemda 3 residential area in Isei.

In Wondiboi sub-district, flooding damaged a bridge on the Wasior-Rasiei highway in Wondiboi village. A number of houses in the complex were also submerged.

In Kaibi village, floodwaters carried mud and large tree trunks to residents' houses and blocked the access road from Kaibi to Ramiki after the river in the area breached its banks.

Meanwhile, in Wasior sub-district, the rains caused at least four major rivers, namely the Manggurai, Anggris, Sanduai, and Rado rivers, to overflow.

A joint team consisting of police and military personnel, civil servants, and volunteers was deployed on Monday morning to clean up flood materials such as logs, rocks, and mud from roads and residential areas.

A number of heavy equipment were also deployed to the disaster sites to dredge the rivers, which were filled with rocks, mud, sand, and logs.

Chairman of Commission C of the Wondama Bay regional legislative council (DPRD), Remran Sinadia, asked the district government of Teluk Wondama to improve river channels to prevent further flooding.

"What needs to be done is the normalization of rivers; at least dredging should be done so that rivers don't overflow. Almost all rivers in Wasior and its surroundings are full of material so immediate actions are needed. Otherwise, it could be dangerous because they could overflow again at any time," he said.

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