Massive flooding in South Kalimantan broke five-decade record: Jokowi

Jakarta President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) pointed to the massive flooding that hit 10 districts and cities in South Kalimantan Province as being the first to have occurred in the past 50 years.

"Today, I am reviewing the situation of flooding in nearly 10 districts and cities in South Kalimantan Province. This is a type of major flooding that had not occurred in South Kalimantan Province for over 50 years," Jokowi stated in Pekauman Village, East Martapura District, Banjar Regency, South Kalimantan, on Monday.

The president, among others, visited the Pekauman Bridge along with Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Doni Monardo, South Kalimantan Governor Sahbirin Noor, and Banjar District Head Khalilurrahman.

"The rainfall has been very high for almost 10 consecutive days, so the Barito River, which normally holds 230 million cubic meters, is currently receiving 2.1 billion cubic meters of water, thereby resulting in it overflowing its banks and inundating the 10 districts and cities," the head of state remarked.

President Jokowi expressed grief over the loss of lives and those impacted by the flooding.

"Lastly, I would like to express deep sorrow over the deaths of those in the floods in South Kalimantan. I hope the families left behind would be patient and accepting," the president affirmed.

During the visit, Jokowi also handed over several basic necessities, ready-to-eat food, and masks to numerous residents in the affected locations.

The 10 flood-affected districts and cities are Tapin, Banjar, Banjar Baru, Tanah Laut City, Banjarmasin City, Hulu Sungai Tengah, Balangan, Tabalong, Hulu Sungai Selatan, and Batola.

The massive floods, triggered by incessant heavy rains since Jan 12, claimed 15 lives, swamped 24,379 houses, and displaced 39,549 people.

The South Kalimantan provincial government has declared a flood emergency response status since January 14, 2021.

A joint rescue team has disbursed relief aid comprising clothing, food, tents, mattresses, and blankets.

Based on the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG’s) monitoring, South Kalimantan can likely still receive light to moderate rains when the ongoing rainy season will continue until February 2021.

Apart from South Kalimantan, other Indonesian provinces, including North Sulawesi, Aceh, West Java, West Sumatra, East Kalimantan, and East Java, were also hit by flooding.

Source: Antara News

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