Threat of more floods casts shadow over South Kalimantan village

Pelaihari, S Kalimantan – Fatimah, a resident of Kurau village in Kurau sub-district, Tanah Laut district, South Kalimantan, said she is reluctant to go back to her house, which has remained flooded for almost two months now.

“Until this time, my house remains inundated. At night, the floodwaters may reach knee height,” she told ANTARA in Kurau village, located about 43 kilometers from Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan province, on Saturday.

 

Fearing more floods triggered by downpour and tidal flooding, Fatimah said she prefers staying at her relative’s house, which is located on higher ground.

However, she said she is thankful for improved conditions compared to the second and third weeks of January, 2021, when the floodwaters could reach more than one meter in height.

Dian Rifani, another villager, said she returned home just three days ago after taking refuge for almost one month after the January floods.

“My house is often inundated if tidal flooding occurs, but it (the water level) is below knee-high,” she observed.

Explaining the continued threat of flooding, Kurau village head Anang Kaderi said his village is located about three kilometers away from the Java sea coast.

Thus, if heavy rainfall and tidal flooding occur, the village is prone to flooding, he said, adding that the recent floods affected 706 households, or 2,333 residents, residing in 650 houses.

A majority of locals work as farmers and fishermen but, owing to the ongoing threat of fresh flooding, they will have to remain alert, he remarked.

As they recover from the aftermath of January’s flooding, the residents still need aid as many of them cannot yet get back to work to earn money, Kaderi added.

Several parts of South Kalimantan witnessed massive flooding on January 12-13, 2021, following heavy rainfall lashing the province.

The floods affected the districts of Banjar, Tapin, Tabalong, Balangan, and Hulu Sungai Tengah as well as the cities of Tanah Laut and Banjar Baru.

The floods hit Banjar district the hardest, submerging 14,791 homes and compelling 51,362 people to take refuge.

The floods reportedly inundated 112 homes in Tapin district and forced 1,777 people to move to higher ground.

The massive floods also triggered landslides in Tanah Laut district, which led to five deaths, according to Tanah Laut district head Sukamta.

 

Source: Antara News

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