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Jakarta Post

Heavy rains deluge West Java, Bengkulu during New Year’s Eve

  • Arya Dipa and Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung and Jakarta   /   Wed, January 1, 2020   /   01:08 pm
Heavy rains deluge West Java, Bengkulu during New Year’s Eve Vehicles are driven along a flooded street in front of Tegal Station in Central Java, on Tuesday night, New Year's Eve. (Antara/Oky Lukmansyah)

Greater Jakarta is not the only region in the country flooded during the new year’s celebrations, as some regions in West Java and Bengkulu were inundated by heavy rains that fell throughout Tuesday.

Heavy rain had inundated a section of the Cikampek-Palimanan (Cipali) toll road in Indramayu, West Java for the first time since it was opened in 2015.

Suyitno, the operational general manager of toll road operator PT Lintas Marga Sedaya, said the water came from a deluged field beside the road. “The water from a nearby inundated field has overflowed onto the toll road,” he said.

Suyitno added that the toll road’s drainage system had worked properly as it was only built to allow rainwater to flow off the surface of the road, but not deal with water from land around the toll road.

The 116-kilometer Cipali toll road runs through some forest areas, including ones owned by state forestry company Perhutani.

PT Lintas Marga Sedaya – a subsidiary of Astra Infra, the infrastructure arm of diversified business group PT Astra International – has been operating the Cipali toll road since its inauguration in June 2015.

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

“We have coordinated closely with relevant authorities, including the Public Works and Housing Ministry’s river and coast directorate, to solve the problem,” Suyitno said.

Passing vehicles were forced to slow down on the inundated section, while other drivers decided to stop. The water had receded since Tuesday evening, allowing the toll road to operate normally.

A flash flood also hit a residential complex in Cimareme village in West Bandung regency, West Java on Sunday afternoon, after an overflowing river broke a dike in the area.

“Heavy rain had caused the levee to break, which later inundated the houses,” West Java Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) official Budi Budiman Wahyu said on Tuesday.

He added that the floodwaters reached 70 to 180 centimeters, deluging houses owned by at least 131 families in the residential complex. Some residents took shelter in nearby mosques.

Read also: Flash flood destroys bridge, isolates villages in South Sumatra

Continuous heavy rain had also triggered flooding in Seluma regency, Bengkulu on Tuesday. The flood had deluged at least six villages consisting of hundreds of houses since 8 p.m, according to a statement from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB). 

Aside from houses, the flood had also cut off the road connecting Bengkulu city and Manna city.

BNPB spokesperson Agus Wibowo said Seluma Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) personnel had rescued two residents dragged away by the water. The agency, however, had yet to issue an official estimation of the financial losses caused by the flood.

Personnel from the Seluma BPBD and the police were dispatched to assist the affected residents.

Days prior to New Year’s Eve, flash floods caused by continuous heavy rain had also hit regions in North Sumatra and South Sumatra.

https://twitter.com/infoBMKG/status/1212195135083008000?s=20

 

According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), there is a potential for extreme weather in most parts of the country for at least a week. Such a condition was triggered by several local and regional weather phenomena, including an Asian monsoon that increased the supply of wet air over Indonesia.

“We suggest people to stay alert to any potential hazards occurring during the extreme weather conditions, such as floods, landslides, strong winds, falling trees and slippery roads,” the BMKG’s deputy for meteorology, Mulyono R. Prabowo, wrote in a statement.