Friday, January 25, 2013


       Jakarta, Jan 25, 2013 (ANTARA) - While Jakarta's floods attract the attention of most Indonesian government officials, a number of cities outside the capital are still being hit by floodwaters and landslides.
       Among the flood-affected cities are Jayapura (Papua province), Bekasi, Kerawang, Sukabumi and Indramayu (West Java), Bandar Lampung (Lampung), Tangerang and Lebak (Banten) and East Nusa Tenggara.  The natural disaster has claimed a number of lives and threatened rice harvests.

       Given the serious impact of floods across the country, the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs urged all concerned parties not to focus only on Jakarta flooding, but also pay attention to other flooded regions that are yet to receive adequate assistance.
        "Many parties have given attention and assistance to the flood victims in Jakarta. However, there are many other areas hit by floods, which have yet to get similar attention," said Benny Satria Nugraha, the chief of the Public Relations department of the Ministry of Social Affairs, here on January 22.
       Indonesia is currently in the middle of the rainy season, which is expected to last until March or April.
 A total of 60.9 million people live in the nation's 315 districts/cities that are prone to floods, and 124 million live in 270 districts/cities that are vulnerable to landslides during the rainy season.
       In Kudus district, Central Java, hundreds of houses in seven villages were inundated after several river embankments collapsed on January 22.
       "Among the collapsed embankments were those of Logung river in Sadang village, and Dawe river in Hadiwarno village," Kudus disaster mitigation office spokesperson Atok Darmo Broto said recently.
        The flood-affected villages include Sidomulyo, Pladen, Jekulo (Jekulo sub-district), Golantepus, Temulus, Kirig villages (Mejobo sub-district) and Ngembalrejo and Hadipolo villages (Bae sub-district).
        The embankments collapsed after incessant heavy rainfall on the slopes of Mount Muria, because they could not handle the high volume of water flow.
        In West Java, the floods affected the districts of Kerawang, Bekasi and Sukabumi, among other places.
        According to Karawang disaster mitigation agency data, the floods over the past few days submerged 18,000 houses across 80 villages in 23 sub-districts.
        Nearly 20,000 flood victims continue to take shelter in evacuation camps set up by the roadsides in Jalan Batujaya, Kerawang. The floodwaters, reaching a height of between one and two metres, affected 1,250 families.
       In Bekasi, the floods on January 18-19 killed three people, according to a spokesman of the Bekasi Police Chief, Adjunct Senior Commissioner Bambang Wahyudi.
        Some 4,000 residents and 2,400 people were affected by the floods in Jatiasih and South Bekasi, respectively.
       A Bekasi administration official, Agus Dharma, noted that of the district¿s 12 sub-districts, only two ¿ Jatisampurna and Bantaragebang ¿ were not flooded.
         Meanwhile, in Sukabumi, floods washed away four bridges across three sub-districts. "Two bridges collapsed in Warungkiara, followed by one in Bantargadung and another in Cisolok," Sukabumi disaster mitigation agency spokesman Usman Susilo said in Sukabumi on January 24.
        In Bandar Lampung, Lampung province, floods triggered by incessant downpours killed three people and inundated 20 areas. At least 850 houses and a 1-km-long highway were submerged in Gadingrejo, Pringsewu.
         "A total of 265 houses were submerged, with floodwaters reaching a height of up to 2 metres," said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), in a press statement here on Friday.
         In Papua province, the Jayapura administration urged local residents to be on the alert for more downpours. Incessant heavy rainfall triggered floods and landslides, claiming the lives of two children in Jayapura.
          Jayapura mayor Benhur Tommy Mano told the press that his office, in cooperation with the local disaster mitigation agency, army and police personnel, had set up command posts to help flood and landslide victims.
        In Belu district, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, a total of 1,725 houses were inundated by floods, following incessant rainfall in the area over the past two weeks.
   "Floodwaters have submerged the road that connects East Nusa Tenggara with Timor Leste," the NTT provincial administration's secretary, Frans Salem, said recently.
         The incessant downpours also caused a landslide in the provincial capital of Kupang. About 20 houses were buried by the landslide.
        Apart from the floods and landslide, East Nusa Tenggara was also hit by a tornado recently. Many houses in Flores Timur district were damaged as a result.
        In Banten province, five people were killed in floods and landslides that hit Lebak district two weeks ago.
       "Four of the five victims were swept away by floodwaters, while the other was buried in a landslide," Head of the Lebak District Natural Disaster Mitigation Board (BPBD) Muklis said on January 13.
    He noted that the floods inundated a total of 7,450 houses and destroyed 280 roads and bridges in Lebak.
          Meanwhile, the Association of Indonesian Farmers (HKTI) warned the government of potential harvest failure as a result of floods this year.
        Floods have extensively damaged paddy fields in various parts of the country over the past months.
    "Therefore, the government must take steps to deal with a potential scarcity in supply of the staple food," HKTI secretary general Fadli Zon said recently.
        He stated that the government should provide free assistance - in the form of seeds and fertilizers, among other things - to farmers whose paddy fields were damaged by the floods.
        "Farmers hardest hit by the floods should receive comprehensive support from the government," Fadli pointed out.
        Floods have severely affected hundreds of hectares of paddy fields in Surabaya, Karawang, Banten, Yogyakarta and other areas.
        In Banten province, for instance, at least 24,958 hectares of paddy fields were flooded.
         "The most affected were those in Pandeglang regency - around 12,369 hectares of paddy fields across 12 sub-districts," Head of Agriculture and Livestock Office of Banten Agus M. Tauchid said.
    According to official data, as many as 4,721 hectares - out of a total of 24,985 hectares in the regency - suffered crop failure due to the floods.
        In Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta, floods caused losses of at least Rp3.24 billion to the state in the agricultural sector.
          Kulon Progo district agriculture and forestry office head Bambang Tri Budi stated recently that the floods affected 104 hectares of paddy fields in the sub-districts of Temon, Panjatan, Lendah, Sentolo, Wates and Galur.
          He said the local government would ask the Agriculture Ministry to compensate local farmers for the losses caused by the floods.
          Some 60 hectares of paddy fields were also reported to be affected by the floods in Rinduhati village, Taba Penanjung sub-district, Central Bengkulu district, Bengkulu province.
         "The flash flood inflicted huge losses on the farmers there, who had planted high-yielding varieties of rice seeds just a week ago," Rinduhati village head Mucklis said. Besides the rice fields, fish ponds were also flooded in Central Bengkulu.
    In Indramayu district, West Java province, the floods submerged many hectares of paddy fields.
         "Rice farmers were forced to postpone their planting activities due to the flood," said Rastim, a local farmer, in Soge village, Kandanghaur sub-district, Indramayu. ***4***


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