The Jakarta Post
Floods in the North Aceh regency have further expanded due to heavy rains in the region over the past several days and forced thousands of residents in a number of districts to take shelter.
'It was still raining as of noon on Tuesday and floods have further expanded, thus forcing people to evacuate, but no reports of casualties have been reported so far,' said North Aceh regency administration chief spokesman Amir Hamzah by phone from Banda Aceh on Thursday.
Separately, North Aceh Military Command chief Let. Col. Iwan Rosandriyanto said 17 districts had been swamped by floods due to torrential rain and thousands of residents from dozens of villages had taken shelter in mosques.
He added that the worst-hit area was the Langkahan district, where four villages were engulfed in up to two meters of water and 305 people had evacuated.
In the Lhoksukon district, the floods of 10 cm to 1.5 meters have engulfed 16 villages. As many as 1,176 families, or 4,547 people had taken shelter, Antara news agency reported.
Iwan said the floods had also swamped 11 villages and forced 277 families, or 1,050 people, in the Makmur district to evacuate. Seventeen villages and 234 residents in the Muara Batu district also had to evacuate.
As many as 14 villages in the Pirak Timu district were hit by floods and 1,438 families, or 6,838 people, were forced to take refuge in safer places.
Iwan added that his command had taken measures, such as evacuating residents, providing field kitchens, medical care and neighborhood security.
As many as 550 Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers have been deployed to distribute relief aid to evacuees in 17 districts in North Aceh. TNI will also open two additional public kitchens.
Meanwhile, after five days of flooding, floods in a number of regions in Cilacap and Banyumas regencies in Central Java began receding on Wednesday. However, fields in some locations were still swamped at up to 70 cm. Rice fields were also still submerged by water although the level had subsided.
'It's still flooding and evacuees are still afraid to return home. The flood level has apparently receded because it didn't rain on Tuesday night. If it rains again the floods will rise again,' said Puji Febrywati, 27, a flood volunteer in Sidareja district told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. She added that the floods receded on Wednesday because it was not raining heavily on Tuesday evening
Puji said that although the floods were receding, evacuees in Sidareja and surrounding areas were still afraid to return home as the flood level was still dangerous.
'The roads are still full of water and residents' homes are engulfed in around 70 cm of water and even up to a meter yesterday,' said Puji.
Separately, Cilacap regency administration chief spokesman Taryo said the condition could still be coped with into the fifth day of floods in the regency.
'Around 700 people are still staying at shelters as of now. They don't dare to return home because the water is still high although receding,' Taryo told the Post. He added that the evacuees were accommodated in several shelters, such as at the district hall and Sidareja Military Command Hall.
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