Over 1 Lakh Displaced, 60 People Dead In Indonesia Floods

Indonesian rescue teams flew helicopters full of food to remote flood-hit communities on Saturday because the price from the disaster jumped to 60 and fears grew about the likelihood of more torrential rain.
Tens of thousands in Jakarta were still unable to return to their waterlogged homes after a number of the deadliest flooding in years hit the big capital region, home to about 30 million.

In neighbouring Lebak, where half a dozen people died, police and military personnel dropped boxes of instant noodles and other supplies into remote communities inaccessible by road after bridges were destroyed.

“It’s tough to urge supplies in there… and there are a few dozen places hit by landslides,” Banten captain Tomsi Tohir told AFP.

“That is why we’re using helicopters although there are not any landing spots.”

Local health centre chief Suripto, who goes by one name, said injured residents were flowing into his clinic.

“Some of them were wounded after they were caught in a frenzy by floods and hit with wood and rocks,” he said.

Around Jakarta, quite 170,000 people took refuge in shelters across the huge urban conglomeration after whole neighbourhoods were submerged.

Torrential rains that started on New Year’s Day Eve unleashed flash floods and landslides.

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said on Saturday that two people were also killed after flash floods and landslides hit a village in North Sulawesi on Friday.

The agency said Saturday the entire price had climbed to 60 with two people still missing.

“We’ve discovered more dead bodies,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo.

‘Trauma healing’

Jakarta shelters filled up with refugees, including infants, resting on thin mats as food and beverage ran low.

Some had been reduced to using floodwater for cleaning.

“We’re cleaning ourselves during a nearby church but the time has been limited since it uses an electrical generator for power,” said Trima Kanti, 39, from one refuge in Jakarta’s western edges.

In hard-hit Bekasi, on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta, swamped streets were suffering from debris and crushed cars lying on top of every other — with waterline marks reaching as high because the second floors of buildings.

On Friday, the govt said it might start cloud seeding to the west of the capital — inducing rain using chemicals sprayed from planes — within the hope of preventing more rain reaching the town region.

Water has receded in many areas and power was being restored in many districts.

The health ministry has said it had deployed some 11,000 doctors and soldiers to distribute medicine, disinfectant hygiene kits and food during a bid to debar outbreaks of hepatitis A , mosquito-borne dengue and other illnesses, including infections linked to contact with dead animals.

Visiting hard-hit Lebak, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said the govt would help rebuild destroyed schools and construct temporary bridges, while offering assistance to victims.

“We’re also posing for NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to assist with trauma healing,” Muhadjir told reporters on Saturday.

Electrocution, drowning

Around Jakarta, a family — including a four- and nine-year-old — died of suspected gas poisoning from a transportable power generator, while an eight-year-old boy was killed during a landslide.

Others died from drowning or hypothermia, while one 16-year-old boy was electrocuted by an influence line.

Jakarta is often hit by floods during the season , which started in late November. But this weeks marked Jakarta’s deadliest flooding since 2013 when dozens were killed after the town was inundated by monsoon rains.

Urban planning experts said the disaster was partly thanks to record rainfall.

But Jakarta’s myriad infrastructure problems, including poor drainage and rampant overdevelopment, have worsened things , they said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced an idea to maneuver the country’s capital to Borneo island to require pressure off Jakarta, which suffers from a number of the world’s worst traffic jams and is fast sinking thanks to excessive groundwater extraction.

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