Thousands evacuate as floods inundate Bandung homes
The Jakarta Post
Around 15,000 homes in Bandung regency, West Java, were inundated following heavy rain over the past few days, while more floods and bad weather are expected throughout the archipelago in the coming week.
Bandung regency Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chief Marlan said residents in seven districts who previously insisted on saying in their flooded homes were being evacuated.
'Many of them who had chosen to stay have requested evacuation help,' Marlan told The Jakarta Post.
The affected districts are Baleendah, Banjaran, Bojongsoang, Cicalengka, Dayeuhkolot, Rancaekek and Soreang.
More than 4,000 people have left their homes since floods hit on Friday morning. 'The number continues to grow because evacuations are ongoing,' Marlan said.
The agency has prepared shelters in the districts, including at police and military headquarters and houses of worship.
Heavy rain caused the Citarum River to overflow, pouring water into Baleendah, Dayeuhkolot and Bojongsoang districts. Flooding worsened after a section of the riverbank collapsed in Cileunyi.
Roads were also inundated in Baleendah, Bojongsoang and Dayeuhkolot, while flooding has also forced state-owned electricity company PT PLN to shut down three power stations in Baleendah for safety.
A spokesman for PLN's West Java and Bandung distribution office Agus Yuswanta said the shutdown affected around 1,800 homes in Parung Halang, Andir, Cigado, Cikarees, Cieunteung and Kulalet.
'We will turn on the power once authorities deem it is safe for us to do so,' Agus said.
Heavy rains have also triggered floods in Sumatra and Java.
Land transportation was cut off and around 760 houses were inundated in 16 villages in Gresik regency in East Java as of Friday.
Hundreds of families were evacuated after a flash flood hit Bojonegoro regency in East Java on Friday.
Floods also damaged 526.5 hectares of farmland in eight districts in Indragiri Hulu regency in Riau, where farmers recently started a new planting season.
Authorities in Padangpariaman regency in West Sumatra have issued flood and landslide warnings in their area, which includes a section of the Trans-Sumatra highway and the Minangkabau International Airport.
Thousands of homes in Deli Serdang, Medan and Langkat regencies in North Sumatra were also engulfed by floods up to a meter high following days of heavy rain.
The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast heavy rain to continue across the archipelago over the next three to seven days.
The BMKG said that wind circulation was expected in the western part of Kalimantan while a convergence was expected to form from Java to the Nusa Tenggara Islands.
'With high humidity in most parts of Indonesia, these conditions support the growth of rain clouds all over the archipelago,' the agency said in a forecast on its website.
Heavy rains are also forecast to hit Aceh, North Sumatra, Riau, Central Java, East Java, South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi and Papua.
Medium-to-heavy rain has also been forecast for northern and southern Sumatra, the western part of Kalimantan and Java, central and southern Sulawesi, and central Papua.
The BMKG has also issued warnings of heavy rain coupled with lightning and strong winds in North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Lampung, Central Java, East Java, East and West Nusa Tenggara, South Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi and Papua on Dec. 21 and 22.
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