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Jakarta Post

Indonesian government denies deforestation link to Kalimantan floods

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 21, 2021   /  05:31 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Flooding has inundated a village in Melawi regency, West Kalimantan, in this Sept. 14, 2020 photo. The government has dismissed the annual occurrences of major flooding in the province as a result of a weather anomaly, instead of deforestation.(Handout/Melawi Disaster Mitigation Agency/

The government has downplayed the link connecting deforestation and tree cover loss with the recent widespread floods in South Kalimantan, saying the devastation was primarily caused by a weather anomaly. Rare and extreme rainfall was the main trigger, both President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his subordinates said of the major floods, which so far have killed at least 15 people and displaced more than 100,000 others. During his visit to the flood-affected Banjar regency on Monday, Jokowi said the intensity of rainfall had surpassed the capacity of the Barito River, the largest river in the province that originates in Central Kalimantan. He said rainwater with a volume of 2.1 billion cubic meters had entered the river, exceeding its normal capacity of 230 million m³. The Environment and Forestry Ministry concurred with the President, saying the floods that had hit...