APSN Banner

Thousands flee homes as massive flooding grips Central Java

Jakarta Post - March 19, 2024

Jakarta – Thousands of people have fled their homes in Demak and Kudus as floods devastated the two regencies in Central Java over the weekend, killing at least five.

The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) reported that flooding in the province had affected more than 250,000 people in at least 10 regencies, and more than 2,300 people were being accommodated in temporary shelters as of Friday.

The Kudus Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD Kudus) said on Sunday that more than 2.1 million hectares of rice fields were still submerged and five people had been killed since flooding struck the regency on Thursday.

Among those killed was a 15-year-old resident of Temulus village, who reportedly drowned on Friday while trying to cross a flooded rice field.

Flooding worsened in the regency when a dam on the Wulan River collapsed and cut off a section of the Northern Coastal (Pantura) Highway connecting Kudus and Demak.

BPBD Kudus head Mundir said while rainfall had returned to normal levels, local transportation was still disrupted, as some roads were still submerged and impassable.

"Jl. Tanjungkarang in Jetis Kapuan [village] is damaged and inundated. The level of water in the Wulan River has fallen by 40 centimeters," Mundir said on Sunday, as quoted by Kompas.com.

Meanwhile, the Demak Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD Demak) said flooding in the regency had affected more than 92,200 residents and prompted 12,982 people to leave their homes.

The Central Java floods have damaged at least six dams, including the Wulan River dam and submerged 88 villages in 10 districts as of Sunday.

BPBD Demak head Agus Nugroho said local flooding began at around 9 p.m. on Wednesday after prolonged heavy rainfall, followed by strong winds.

"The displaced residents need assistance, such as ready-to-eat meals, mats or mattresses and blankets, medicine, clean water and hygiene products," said Agus.

The Demak Police's traffic unit has set up makeshift rest areas for drivers traveling through the region, and is redirecting small vehicles heading toward Pati and Surabaya to use the Trengguli Highway connecting Mijen, Welahan, Jepara, Kudus and Pati.

The Kudus Police have also installed signs redirecting vehicles to alternative routes.

The Demak administration has provided an emergency shelter for local residents who were affected by flooding when a part of an embankment on the Wulan River collapsed.

The neighboring administration of Kudus, which borders Demak to the south and southwest, has also provided emergency facilities for people fleeing the flood.

"We have prepared a shelter at the Jam'iyyatul Hujjaj Kudus building, which is also close to the two [regions in Demak] affected by the flood, namely Ketanjung village and Karanganyar [district]," Kudus acting regional secretary Revlisianto Subekti said on Sunday.

Source: https://asianews.network/thousands-flee-homes-as-massive-flooding-grips-central-java