About 100,000 people evacuated in Indonesia because of floods

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About 100,000 people evacuated in Indonesia because of floods

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 27, ARMENPRESS: The floods in Bandung, West Java, and Cilacap, Central Java, have begun receding, but a large number of evacuees have yet to receive assistance from local administrations. Armenpress reports, citing the Jakarta Post that Bandung Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Marlan said floods triggered by the overflowing Citarum River in Baleendah and Dayeuhkolot districts in Bandung regency had begun to recede.

“Based on observations, the water level has dropped to around a meter. We hope rainfall will not be too high in the upper reaches of Citarum River,” Marlan was quoted as saying by Antara news agency at the Baleendah flood disaster command post.

According to Marlan, the drop in flood levels was quite significant as pools of water along the Baleendah-Bojongsoang roads have receded. “The pools of water have receded, hopefully they will not rise again,” said Marlan.

The Baleendah-Dayeuhkolot highway is still cut off as it is still engulfed by more than a meter of water. Around 36,000 homes, formerly occupied by about 12,500 people, are still inundated and inhabitants were forced to evacuate as their homes were engulfed by more than two meters of water.

“The latest water level in Andir and Cieunteung is 3.1 meters. The water has subsided today and we hope it will further subside,” said Marlan. Despite that, most of the residents remain at home, especially those living in two-story houses. “They remain at home and its difficult to make sure whether aid has been distributed. We have set up public kitchens at a number of points. Some of the evacuees have set up public kitchens and we distribute basic foodstuffs to the locations,” said Marlan. “We cannot force them to evacuate because they regard the floods as normal, but we are continuing to monitor the situation. When the water level rises we will fetch them,” said Marlan.

Around 400 volunteers have been mobilized to distribute aid and man the public kitchens. The police and Indonesian Military (TNI) have boosted the number of personnel to transport residents by rafts and rubber boats as well as secure the situation, as the floods further expand.

“Handling floods will not only be carried out during the floods but also after the floods. Usually, residents complain about sicknesses after the floods. The number of patients seeking treatment at command posts has risen,”said Marlan.

Besides engulfing residential areas, markets and public facilities, the floods also swamped the Yudha Wyogrha Battalion compound in Dayeuhkolot. In Cilacap regency, Central Java, thousands of evacuees have been stranded and have not received aid for a week. They are trapped in homes, but refuse to evacuate. Economic activities have been paralyzed for almost a week as roads are engulfed by floods. As of Friday, floods in Cilacap had begun to subside but many homes were still inundated by 50 centimeters of water.

“Many residents have yet to receive aid due to the difficulty of reaching the locations, especially those living in Gunung Raja village, which has been entirely engulfed by floods. However, we are still trying to get there by boat,” flood volunteer Puji Febrywati in Sidareja district, Cilacap, told The Jakarta Post. She said the regency administration and volunteers were concentrating on evacuees in shelters.

Torrential rains since Sunday have caused floods in at least 11 districts in Cilacap. The worst-hit area is Sidareja district, where seven of the 10 villages are engulfed by floods. More than 2,500 homes were swamped by floods in Cilacap. The regency administration has evacuated around 700 residents to a number of shelters, such as at Sidareja district hall and a military command post. Cilacap regency chief spokesman Taryo said his office had made its best efforts to help flood victims.

“Perhaps, we are only lacking good coordination. Earlier, we anticipated that residents who refused to evacuate have no need for aid, but we will still check to see if they require help,” said Taryo.

In North Aceh regency in Aceh, around 94,500 people from 285 villages have also taken refuge after torrential rains flooded their homes. Regency spokesperson Amir Hamzah said that people had left their homes in droves in the past two days and water had yet to recede there.

“Evacuation personnel, from the military, police and mitigation agency, keep combing residential areas to bring people to shelters,” Amir said.

Floods in the village have reached up to 2 meters deep. Of the total 25 districts in the regency, only seven were not severely inundated. “The evacuation process is slow because we lack the equipment and tools,” Amir said.

Officials are calling for people to leave their homes as floods spread and more rain is expected to fall.


Armenia, Yerevan, 0002, Martiros Saryan 22


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