Bandung declares emergency as floods spread
The Jakarta Post
Bandung regency declared a state of emergency in the wake of hundreds of thousands of hectares of paddy fields being flooded in Central Java, West Java and Aceh when floods continued to spread on Tuesday.
'The state of emergency, effective as of Tuesday, will last seven days, or until Dec. 29, and could be extended depending on the situation,' said Bandung Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Marlan in Bandung city on Tuesday.
The state of emergency was decided upon at a coordination meeting on Monday due to the worsening floods in the regency.
The Bandung regency administration, through the BPBD, has greater authority in handling disaster victims so dealing with the flood at specific locations is more optimal.
'The disaster has been ongoing for three consecutive days and the conditions have worsened; therefore, declaring a state of emergency is appropriate,' Marlan said as quoted by Antara.
Based on the latest data, flooding caused by the overflowing Citarum River in the Bandung regency has spread. Besides Baleendah, Dayeuhkolot and Bojongsoang, flooding has also hit Kamasan Banjaran, Rancaekek, Cikancung and Solokanjeruk.
'In Dayeuhkolot and Baleendah, at least 17,000 houses have been flooded and more than 6,000 people have vacated their homes,' said Marlan.
Meanwhile, flooding in the southern parts of Central Java has spread to Banyumas regency, where a number of villages in Kemranjen, Sumpiuh and Tambak districts were under water on Tuesday.
Hundreds of homes and thousands of hectares of farmland in the regency have also been swamped.
Banyumas BPBD acting head Prasetyo Budi Widodo said flooding was common during the rainy season in the three districts, as it was triggered by overflowing rivers.
'No one has vacated their homes as we don't consider it dangerous yet. The water level in the homes is below 50 centimeters. Rice fields are facing the brunt as crops are drowning in floodwater,' Prasetyo told the media on Tuesday.
A resident of Grujugan village, Kemranjen district, Karjo, 50, said flooding in his village began on Monday evening.
'It rained continuously from afternoon until night. I examined the rice fields and they have turned into a sea of water and floodwater has engulfed homes and roads,' Karjo told The Jakarta Post.
Meanwhile, one person was swept away by the strong currents of the Aceh River and hundreds of head of cattle have been moved to higher ground in Aceh Besar regency, a government official said.
Local farmers moved their cattle due to worsening floods as the Aceh River burst its banks, Aceh Besar BPBD head Samsul Bahri was quoted by Antara as saying on Tuesday.
Water from the river had been flooding local cattle ranches since Sunday, he said.
Samsul, also the assistant secretary of the regency administration, said the landslides hit three different areas in Alue Gintung Village, Seulimeum subdistrict.
'The Aceh River's strong current has also crippled a traditional suspension bridge in the Lampisang and Tanoh Abee areas,' he said.
Heavy rain that pounded several villages in the district over the past few days has caused not only flooding but also landslides.
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