Indonesia – Deadly Floods and Landslides in South Kalimantan and North Sulawesi

Disaster authorities in Indonesia report that over 20 people have died and thousands have been displaced by recent flooding in South Kalimantan and North Sulawesi Provinces.

Authorities in the country are currently fighting disasters on several fronts after string of floods and devastating landslides was followed by a massive earthquake in West Sulawesi Province on 15 January which left at least 81 people dead in Mamuju and Majane Regencies. Search operations are continuing for 11 people still missing after a massive landslide in Cimanggung District, Sumedang Regency, West Java Province on 10 January. Disaster authorities confirmed on 17 January that 29 people have died.

Floods in Tanah Laut Regency, South Kalimantan Province, Indonesia, 15 January 2021. Photo: BPBD Tanah Laut Regency

Floods in South Kalimantan Province

The current spate of flooding in South Kalimantan Province began on 12 January and affected Banjar and Tabalong regencies, as reported here.

The situation worsened over the following days. The provincial capital, Banjarmasin City, recorded over 270mm of rain in 24 hours to 14 January. On the same day the Provincial Government of South Kalimantan declared a state of emergency.

As of 17 January, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) reported over 24,000 houses have been flooded, causing thousands of residents to evacuate.

A total of 10 regencies in the province have now been affected, including Tapin, Banjar, Banjar Baru City, Tanah Laut, Banjarmasin City, Hulu Sungai Tengah, Balangan, Tabalong, Hulu Sungai Selatan and Barito.

The worst affected areas are in Balangan Regency (1,154 houses flooded, 17,501 people displaced), Banjar Regency (6,670 houses flooded, 11,269 people displaced) and Kota Tanah Laut Regency (8,506 houses flooded, with 13,062 people displaced). As many as 64,000 people have been affected by floods in Hulu Sungai Tengah Regency, with 11,200 displaced.

In addition, BNPB reported 15 fatalities, including 7 in Tanah Laut Regency, 3 in Hulu Sungai Tengah Regency, 1 in Banjar Baru City, 1 in Tapin Regency and 3 in Banjar Regency.

Floods in Manado City, North Sulawesi Province

Meanwhile 6 people have died after heavy rain triggered floods and landslides in Manado City, North Sulawesi Province on 16 January, 2021. The city recorded around 250mm of rain in 48 hours to 17 January.

BNPB reported that flood waters were up to 3 metres deep in some areas of the city. At least 500 people have been displaced. Around 22 homes were damaged, 2 of them severely. As of 18 January, some of those displaced have been able to return home.