Indonesia – 5 Dead, 1 Missing After Floods and Landslides in 14 Regions

Floods and landslides in Indonesian over the last few days have left as many as 5 people dead and 1 missing.

Authorities say that the rainy season arrived later than normal this year, but warned that it is likely to peak by the end of January or early February, bringing with it an increased risk of floods and landslides to the millions of people who live in flood prone areas in Indonesia.

Late Rainy Season

Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – BPBD) said in a statement yesterday, 24 January 2016, that the impact of El Niño had caused the rainy season to be later than normal. Until the last few days, rainfall has been below expected levels, in particular in Java, Bali and Nusa Tenggara.

Early January usually marks the peak of the rainy season. BPBD says it would normally expect to see hundreds of incidents of flooding and landslides by now, but had recorded under 50 so far.

Indonesia’s meteorological agency (Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika: BMKG) predicts that the peak of the rainy season will come in late January and early February 2016.

Floods and Landslides in 14 Regions Leave 5 Dead, 1 Missing

After a late start, the rainy season in Indonesia appears to have started in earnest over the last few days.

BPBD said yesterday that since 19 January 2016, floods and landslides had occurred in 14 regions in Indonesia, leaving 5 dead and 1 missing. BPBD warned that the onset of heavy rains is likely to cause further flooding and landslides in vulnerable areas. A BPBD spokesman said:

“There are 63.7 million people in Indonesia that live in flood-prone areas while 40.9 million others live in areas highly vulnerable to landslide. We need to mitigate them from being hit by disasters.”

BPBD offered no further information regarding where the deaths occurred. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report today that between 19 and 23 January, local authorities in Indonesia recorded floods and landslides in Jambi, where three people died in landslides in Kerinci District.

Levels of the Batang Hari River were extremely high as of 19 January, and flood warnings were issued on 20 January by the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) for Jambi.

OCHA also say that one person was killed in a landslide in Manado Regency, North Sulawesi Province on 21 January, where almost 5,000 houses have been inundated by flooding.

Flooding was also reported in the provinces of South Sumatra where over 600 people have been evacuated over the weekend in Lahat Regency (see below).

OCHA reported floods in in the provinces of Central Java and East Java and South Sulawesi.

Floods in Pati Regency, Central Java province in Indonesia. Photo: BPBD
Floods in Pati Regency, Central Java province in Indonesia. Photo: BPBD
Landslides in Indonesia. Photo: BPBD
Over 40 million people live in areas vulnerable to landslides in Indonesia. Photo: BPBD

Lahat Regency

Floods triggered by heavy rains also hit several parts of Lahat Regency, South Sumatra province, Indonesia, on Saturday 23 January 2016.

Over 600 people were evacuated from the village of Gunung Kembang and a further 69 evacuated from Batai. Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Authority (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – BPBD) say that 4 houses have been swept away and 9 severely damaged in Gunung Kembang. BPBD say they are still carrying out damage assessments in Batai. Food, blankets and other relief supplies are being provided to the displaced.

Last week, flooding in Aceh Province, on the island of Sumatra, forced 1,505 people to evacuate on 17 January 2016.

A few days later, 2 villages were flooded in the district of Sutojayan in Blitar Regency in East Java on 18 January 2016 after a local river overflowed.

Rainfall Figures

WMO figures for a 24 hour period between 23 to 24 January 2016.

Sibolga, North Sumatra province – 382.0 mm
Nabire, Papua province – 166 mm
Biak, Papua province – 56.5 mm

For a 24 hour period between 24 to 25 January 2016.

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport, greater Jakarta – 78 mm
Ruteng, Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara – 51 mm
Maumere, Sikka Regency, East Nusa Tenggara – 70 mm
Kolaka, Kolaka Regency, Southeast Sulawesi Province – 79 mm
Jayapura, Papua province – 174 mm