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Jakarta Post

Flash flood destroys bridge, isolates villages in South Sumatra

  • Yulia Savitri

    The Jakarta Post

Palembang, South Sumatra   /   Mon, December 30, 2019   /   05:38 pm
Flash flood destroys bridge, isolates villages in South Sumatra A bridge connecting two districts in Lahat regency is wrecked by a flash flood in the South Sumatran regency on Dec. 30. (Antara/M. Rega Derbiansyah)

A flash flood triggered by the overflowing Mulak River in Lahat regency, South Sumatra destroyed a bridge connecting two regencies in the province on Monday morning.

Lahat Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Marjono said Air Mulak Bridge was destroyed by floodwaters on Monday. Heavy rain occurring since Sunday evening triggered the deluge at 4:30 a.m. on Monday. 

Apart from connecting two districts -- Mulak Sebingkai and Mulak Ulu --  within the regency, the bridge was also a part of the provincial road that connected Lahat and neighboring Muarenim regency. The incident isolated a number of villages in Lahat regency, South Sumatra, such as Lesung Batu, Airpur, Fajar Bulan and Mengkenang.

Floodwaters had also destroyed seven houses in Keban Agung village, while at least 10 other houses, a district office and a mosque were inundated.

“Our latest data on the incident showed no casualties inflicted by the incident. Meanwhile, communications were also cut off,” Marjono said.

Read also: Five missing as flash flood hits villages in North Sumatra

Officials of the BPBD, the Indonesian Military, the National Police, the Health Agency and the Social Agency had been dispatched to the location to assist the affected residents. Meanwhile, the floodwaters had receded since Monday afternoon.

The South Sumatra provincial administration said it would use a Bailey bridge supplied by the Public Works and Housing Ministry to temporarily replace the destroyed one, in order to reach residents in the isolated villages.

Read also: BMKG warns of extreme weather before rainy season peak

“We have also installed some road signs [regarding the collapsed bridge] in some places leading to the bridge,” South Sumatra public works agency head Darma Budhi said.

Sumatra VIII river basin management head Birendraja said the flash flood occurred because the river basin around the area had been damaged and could not hold the large volume of water flowing from upstream.

He added that the flood occurred almost at the same time as landslides that were triggered by prolonged heavy rain.

Earlier in the same week, a flash flood also hit Labuhan Batu regency in North Sumatra, damaging two villages.

Last month, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency warned people that extreme weather in November and December would cause more hydrometeorological disasters.