The Jakarta Post
Residents of the Nusa Mapala housing complex in Gowa, South Sulawesi, joined hands to stop a house with a baby inside from being swept away by floodwaters on Tuesday after torrential rainfall hit the area.
A video clip displaying their efforts, which were aimed at saving the baby inside the house, which was inundated by water that rose about chest high, was posted on Instagram by @makassar_iinfo, as reported by tribunnews.com.
Some of the people used a rope to hold the house in place, while others tried to reach the baby.
"Rainfall in several areas in South Sulawesi was extreme. Therefore, the land was unable to absorb the water and the rivers that were also unable to accommodate the excess rainwater overflowed," National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Torrential rains that have been hitting some parts of South Sulawesi since Monday caused floods in at least 53 subdistricts in eight regencies -- including Gowa -- and a city in the province, the BNPB recorded.
In Gowa alone, more than 500 houses in seven subdistricts were inundated and at least two bridges in Manuju subdistrict were damaged. The flood killed at least three people, injured 45 and displaced 2,121 others, the BNPB said.
Heavy rains also triggered landslides in several places and cut off road access.
A humanitarian group, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT), deployed volunteers to a hamlet in Pattalikang village, Manuju, where dozens of people were reportedly missing after a landslide struck their hamlet.
Across South Sulawesi, the disaster had killed eight people, three in Gowa and five in Jeneponto, as of Wednesday, according to the BNPB.
In Jeneponto, floodwaters inundated at least 10 subdistricts, severely damaged 51 houses and swept away five others.
Heavy rains also caused rivers to overflow in 14 areas in the South Sulawesi capital of Makassar, displacing about 1,000 residents.
Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said his office has sent food, blankets, clothing and rubber boats to the affected areas across the province.
“About 450 members of the Tagana emergency response unit were deployed to help rescue victims," he said on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) previously warned of heavy rains and strong winds this week in a number of regions, particularly in South Sulawesi and its Gowa regency.
On Jan. 14, an instructor at the Army’s officer school died and three others were injured when they were struck by lightning during heavy rain in the mountainous area of Bontomarannu district in Gowa.
The incident occurred in a farmer's hut in which the four soldiers took shelter from the rain, which forced them to temporarily abandon a final check after a training session around the hills in Nirannuang village.
The BMKG has also predicted that the rainy season would peak at the end of January or the beginning of February nationwide, with heavy rain falling in most parts of Indonesia between Jan. 23 and 30.
"Statistically, January and February was the peak of hydrometeorological disasters, such as floods, landslides and tornadoes, in the past 20 years. The trend followed the rainfall patterns," Sutopo said, calling on people to exercise caution. (ggq/hol/ipa)