The Jakarta Post
Despite high intensity rainfall in Surakarta, Central Java, over the weekend, the water level at the Gajah Mungkur dam in Wonogiri remains steady.
The water volume at the dam is not expected to trigger further flooding, despite concerns in the wake of deadly floods that hit Surakarta over the weekend.
“To date, the Gajah Mungkur dam remains at a safe level. We have not opened the floodgate since Saturday. Floodwaters that hit Surakarta over the weekend were not from this dam,” said Erwando, head of the water and water resources division at state-owned water company Perusahaan Jasa Tirta (PJT) I, on Monday. Erwando is currently overseeing the Bengawan Solo River area.
He said The water level at Gajah Mungkur dam currently measures 135 meters above sea level, slightly higher than its safe limit of 136 meters. He said Jasa Tirta did not have to open the dam floodgate because dam water volume remains at a normal level.
“The floods that hit Surakarta over the weekend were caused by high intensity rain, which fell evenly in areas across the city and its surrounding areas, especially Boyolali, Klaten and Wonogiri. River tributaries in those areas overflowed their banks. The water later flowed into the Bengawan Solo River, causing floods in the down-stream part of the river,” said Erwando.
Dangerous playground – A child rides a rubber tire through floodwaters in Surakarta, Central Java, on Sunday. (thejakartapost.com/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
Southern Wonogiri is the biggest contributor to water volume in the Gajar Mungkur dam. The dam is a factor that is often used to determine whether or not Surakarta is likely to flood because, if the dam water level increases, the water will flow into the Bengawan Solo River.
“In principle, if it wishes to open or close the Gajah Mungkur floodgate, Jasa Tirta will coordinate with the Surakarta administration and other cities in the down-stream side of the Bengawan Solo River, such as Bojonegoro, Ngawi and Tuban,” said Erwando.
As of 10 a.m. local time on Monday, the water level surface had reached 9.30 meters or Siaga I (high alert). (ebf)
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