Pandeglang: 1000’s of Homes Flooded

Jakarta. Thousands of homes in Pandeglang district, Banten, have been inundated with floodwater in the past two days after heavy rains caused the Cibuan and Cipunten Agung rivers to overflow, affecting at least seven villages.

“As of today, flood victims have evacuated to a safer place,” Rohim, 45, a volunteer with the Labuan subdistrict’s disaster response team said on Tuesday, adding that floodwaters had reached a height of up to three meters in some affected villages.

The worst affected areas, Rohim said, were the villages of Labuan, Rancateureup, Kalanganyar, Teluk, Banyumekar, Caringin and Banyu Biru.

In Labuan, he said everything from rice fields to schools and mosques was sitting in at least 70 centimeters of water.

“People who got flooded out haven’t returned to their homes because the rain is still very hard and we worry that the flooding will worsen,” he said.

Elsewhere, flooding in the Kampung Melayu area of Jatinegara, East Jakarta, left hundreds of homes inundated with water beginning from 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

The area’s close proximity to the River Ciliwung means floods are a regular occurrence if there is heavy rainfall upstream in Bogor.

As a result of heavy rain since Monday afternoon, the water level at Katulampa floodgate in Bogor reached 130 centimeters, well above its normal level of 80 cms.

Those Kampung Melayu residents living nearest to the banks of the Ciliwung were hardest hit, with floodwaters reaching a depth of between 1.5 to 2 meters high. However, there were no reports of anybody being evacuated.

“We didn’t evacuate because this is still considered normal,” said Faisal, head of RW 03 urban ward, according to beritajakarta.com, the city’s official Web site.

“We will only move when the flooding becomes really bad. One or two meters high is still normal,” he said.

Sugeng, a local resident, said although the flooding started to recede at noon, several houses were still inundated by floodwater up to 100 cms deep.

“Our plan to celebrate the Islamic new year [on Tuesday] was interrupted by floods. We usually hold late-night prayers and dhikr [devotional chants],” he said.

Head of Jatinegara subdistrict, Andri Yansyah, confirmed that several houses were still inundated, especially those near the banks of the river.

“To aid the flood victims we have dispatched 30 public order officers to the location,” Andri said.

“Their task is to safeguard the area and help those in need. We aren’t providing food for those affected because the water had receded by noon,” he said.

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