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Jakarta Post

After more than 100 people die in flash flood, Jayapura prepares mass burial

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Thu, March 21, 2019   /   04:01 pm
After more than 100 people die in flash flood, Jayapura prepares mass burial A plane sits mired in much after being swept from its hangar by floodwaters in Jayapura, Papua on Sunday. (Antara/Gusti Tanati)

By Wednesday morning rescue workers had recovered 104 dead victims of a flash flood and landslide that happened across Jayapura regency, Papua on Sunday. 

The National Disaster and Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said that 79 people were still reported missing since the flash flood hit the regency.

“Not all of the bodies have been identified; 40 bodies have not been identified, so the Jayapura regent decided to hold a mass burial for the victims [on Thursday],” said BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Jayapura administration officials said they have prepared the land for the burials and accommodations for the mourners.

Jayapura Regent Mathius Awaitaouw declared a 14-day emergency period that began on March 16 and is to last until March 29.

The Social Affairs Ministry announced on Friday that based on reports from the regional military command (Kodam) XVII/Cendrawasih, 11,331 people are taking refuge at 29 evacuation centers across Jayapura regency.

The flash flood has affected five districts: Sentani, Waibu, West Sentani, Ravenirara and Depapre.

Sutopo said a joint team with 1,613 personnel from 23 institutions had been deployed to Sentani to provide emergency help to any victims there.

On Thursday, a village supervisory non-commissioned officer (Babinsa) saved a 66-year-old woman named Friskila Wally, who was left alone in her home in Asei village, East Sentani district, Jayapura.

Friskila’s family were relocated from their houses when Lake Sentani overflowed on Wednesday’s evening. She was left behind because it was dark when they left the village, too risky for Friskila to follow them.

After receiving the report from Friskila’s family on Thursday morning, Babinsa officer Chief. Sgt. Supriyadi, went directly to the village by traditional boat and found Friskila in her house, which was half submerged in water from the Lake Sentani.

Friskila was found lying on a table in her house, healthy but weak.