Indonesia – Thousands Hit by Floods on Java and Sumatra Islands

Floods and landslides continue to affect areas of Java and Sumatra islands in Indonesia. Meanwhile heavy rain from around 12 December has caused severe flooding in West Nusa Tenggara province in the Lesser Sunda Islands.

Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster BNPB called on the public to be more vigilant and prepare for potential rain- and flood-related disasters ahead of the peak of the rainy season in January to February 2021.

In a period from 01 January 2020 to 11 December 2020, as may as 224 people died and 4.19 million were affected or displaced by rain and flood-related disaster in the country, according to BNPB. Furthermore, over 800,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Java Island

On Java Island, a combination of unusually high tides and rough seas caused coastal flooding in Indramayu in West Java on 06 December 2020. According to AHA Centre, 2,208 houses were damaged and 10,129 people affected.

Meanwhile flooding in Bangkalan Regency in East Java Province left one person dead and 4,131 people affected. BNPB said the Arosbaya River broke its banks on 07 December, triggering floods in the regency.

ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) also reported that a total of almost 5,000 people were affected by flooding and landslides in Sampang (150 affected), Sidoarjo (1,815 affected) and Pasuruan (2,945 affected) regencies from 09 December.

Further flooding in Cilacap Regency in Central Java Province on 14 December displaced 1,246 people and damaged 191 homes.

Indonesia’s meteorological agency BMKG reported particularly heavy rain on Java island between 05 and 06 December when Nganjuk in East Java recorded 130 mm of rain. Heavy rain continued, in particular between 12 and 13 December when the city of Malang in East Java recorded 182mm of rain.

Map of rainfall in Indonesia, 05 to 06 December 2020. Image: BMKG
Map of rainfall in Indonesia, 12 to 13 December 2020. Image: BMKG

Sumatra Island

Parts of Sumatra were also affected by flooding in recent days, in particular areas of Aceh Province in the northwest tip of the island.

Severe flooding affected North Aceh regency on 04 December after the Krueng Jambo Aye river broke its banks, according to AHA Centre. As many as 60,658 people were affected, 18,203 homes damaged and 19,476 people displaced.

Flooding on 08 December damaged homes in Lhokseumawe City, Aceh Province, displacing 1,101 people. The following day flooding in East Aceh Regency damaged around 200 homes and affected 821 people. While in South Aceh, 24 homes were damaged and 118 people affected after floods on 10 December.

A period of heavy rain caused flooding in Aceh Tamiang Regency on 12 December, damaging 1,812 homes, displacing 1,303 people and affecting 7,288.

West Nusa Tenggara Province

Heavy rainfall triggered flooding in Dompu Regency of West Nusa Tenggara Province on 12 December, damaging 46 homes and affecting 230 people.

Heavy rain has continued to fall in the region, causing the Cermei river to break its banks, flooding areas of East Lombok Regency on 14 December. AHA Centre reported damage to 1,947 homes, as well as schools, roads, bridges and infrastructure. A total of 9735 people have been affected.