West Java declares emergency over floods, landslides as death toll rises

West Java declares emergency over floods, landslides as death toll rises

The West Java administration declared an emergency status on Friday after floods and landslides hit several areas in the province, as well as in Jakarta and Banten, since New Year’s Eve, killing more than 30 people and displacing more than 170,000.

In Gubernatorial Regulation No. 362/KEP.13-BPBD/2020, Governor Ridwan Kamil said the emergency status would remain in effect until Jan. 7.

The province spokesperson, Hermansyah, said that the emergency status aimed to speed up the mitigation of the disasters in several areas of the province.

“[With the emergency status] rescuing and relocating the victims can be done quickly and precisely. We must also provide them with basic needs such as food, clothing, health services, clean water, sanitation, shelter and psychosocial services,” Hermansyah said in Bandung on Friday.

Recently, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) issued a warning about extreme weather in the first weeks of January that would hit several areas in Indonesia, including West Java.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that death toll due to floods and landslides in West Java, Jakarta and Banten climbed to 53 on Saturday morning, 30 of which were in West Java.

Bogor regency recorded most casualties in the province with 16 people, while another nine died in Bekasi municipality.

“We hope people in West Java increase their awareness of the natural disasters that can occur at any time. This is important to reduce the number of victims and amount of damage,” Hermansyah added.

On his official Instagram account, @ridwankamil, Ridwan said the administration is trying to complete the Ciawi dam and Sukamahi dam to reduce the potential for floods in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok and Bekasi.

Ridwan said the two dams was 45 percent built. The construction was being undertaken by the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry using state money.

Ridwan said the Sukamahi Dam in Bogor, for example, would be able to reduce flooding. The dam cost Rp 464.93 billion and the reservoir would inundate a maximum of 10 hectares.

“The progress has reached 45 percent. Land acquisition has reached 90 percent. Please pray so it can be finished immediately and all of us can enjoy its benefits,” he said.