See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Environment

Flooding death toll climbs to 50 in Indonesia

Aid agencies say evacuees in ‘urgent’ need of help.


Written by

Updated: March 19, 2019

As of Sunday afternoon, at least 50 people were reported killed and 273 families had been left homeless following a flash flood in Jayapura regency, Papua.

The flash flood occurred after heavy downpours in the area from Saturday afternoon to the early hours of Sunday.

Jayapura Regent Matius Awoitauw told The Jakarta Post on Sunday that the survivors were in “urgent need” of emergency aid such as food and medication and facilities for burying the dead.

Currently, 200 people are taking refuge at his residence while 1,400 others are sheltering in nearby schools. Dead bodies are being taken to hospitals in the region for identification purposes.

He added that the regional government was working with the National Police and the Indonesian Military to record and evacuate any other residents from the area while building public facilities for evacuees.

The Cendrawasih Military Command has set up a public kitchen that distributed 5,000 meals on Sunday at lunchtime.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the flooding mostly struck the Sentani Kota district, affecting Sentani Kota, Hinekombe and Dobonsolo subdistricts and five villages, Kampung Sereh, Yoboy, Yahim, Yobeh and Ifar Besar. The regency administration also estimated that the flooding destroyed around 350 houses, 100 shophouses and two bridges.

Vehicles are seen immersed in mud after flooding in Sentani, Jayapura, Papua on Sunday.

BNPB spokesperson, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said the flood had carried away several houses. He said he had seen nine houses being washed away.

Amateur videos and photos verified by BNPB show that the flood also carried away large trees and even a light aircraft

The airplane belonging to Cendrawasih Air that was parked in a hangar in Doyo Baru. It was dragged several meters. A BNPB helicopter was also dragged several meters from its position by the flood.

The government has yet to estimate the total material losses caused by the disaster.

Residents examine their wrecked homes  after flooding in Sentani, Jayapura, Papua on Sunday. Some 50 people are believed to have lost their lives in the deluge.

Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) Papua head, Aiesh Rumbekwan, pointed to “massive” deforestation in a nearby mountainous area, known as the Cyclops, coupled with a large volume of water in Lake Sentani as contributory causes to the disaster.

“We can see this from the branches and trees that are floating. Those are not trees that have tumbled down in the rain, rather they are trees that have been cut down,” Aiesh said.

He said some parts of the mountain had been turned into residential areas.

The deforestation in the mountain area, Aiesh went on, had reduced the number of springs that usually flowed into Lake Sentani. He suspected that the overflowing of the lake occurred because of reclamation coupled with the dumping of garbage.

Meanwhile, resident Yance Wenda said that the recent flooding was “more frightening” than a similar deluge in 2007 as his house was inundated within a mere six hours.

“[The flood] brought down large rocks from the mountain. The torrent sounded like huge [ocean] waves,” said Yance, who has moved to a nearby church following the flood.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Jakarta Post
About the Author: The Jakarta Post is one of Indonesia's leading English-language daily newspapers.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs, Environment

Internet healthcare serving homebound patients in China

Online consultations, pharmaceutical deliveries play vital role during outbreak. One recent rainy day, Wu Hong was waiting at the gate of her residential community in Wuhan, Hubei province. When a deliveryman with a bag of medicine came into sight, she was greatly relieved. Wu’s mother-in-law is a breast-cancer patient and needs to take medicine regularly. Wu’s father suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and inhalers have been in short supply. As the novel coronavirus epidemic grew more serious, Wu wasn’t permitted to take her family to the hospital for drug refills. She was left in a state of restless anxiety. On Feb 26, Wu and her husband saw a news segment on TV saying that the Wuhan government had enabled online reimbursement se


By China Daily
March 13, 2020

Current affairs, Environment

India’s Congress suffers setback after key leader defects to BJP

Move by Scindia and 22 legislators could trigger fall of Congress-led govt in central Madhya Pradesh state. The Congress has suffered a political setback following the resignation of Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 legislators in Madhya Pradesh state, deepening an existential crisis for a party that is struggling for political relevance in modern Indian politics. Mr Scindia, 49, an articulate leader, yesterday joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with legislators loyal to him expected to follow suit. The move could lead to the collapse of the Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government. That would give the BJP a chance to form the government in the Hindi heartland state, which is seen as key objective for


By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020

Current affairs, Environment

Chinese Red Cross teams aid Iran’s COVID-19 fight

Humanitarian group to help Iranians with containment measures that worked in China. Voices on the other end of the line cut in and out due to a poor phone connection as officials at the Red Cross Society of China’s headquarters in Beijing attempted to talk to staff members on the ground in Iran on Tuesday morning. As the signal stabilised, the latest developments in controlling the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic in Teheran streamed into a conference room packed with Red Cross managers. Zhou Xiaohang, head of a five-member team-four medics and a Farsi interpreter sent to assist with COVID-19 control in Iran-said Iranians are increasingly taking precautions such as wearing face masks and washing their hands more often.


By China Daily
March 11, 2020

Current affairs, Environment

Shortage of Masks, Handwash due to panic- buying: Leave some for everyone

Despite repeated calls by global and local health experts and warnings from government, panic-buying grips the country. Global health experts have warned against hoarding masks, handwash and sanitisers during the coronavirus outbreak as it could worsen the situation by depriving those who might need them. Despite this, panic-buying of these products in Dhaka has been triggered by news of the first confirmed coronavirus cases in the country. Across the capital, several pharmacies and superstores have been facing a shortage of masks, antiseptic liquids and sanitisers since Sunday afternoon. The demand for tissue papers has also almost doubled overnight, some retailers claimed. Many of the retail stores, super shops and pharmacies in Karwan Bazar, M


By Daily Star
March 10, 2020

Current affairs, Environment

MH17 trial in Malaysia begins today

It was reported that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile while flying over the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine. The trial will begin today. All eyes will be on the District Court of The Hague at the Schiphol Judicial Complex (JCS) in Badhoevedorp as the criminal proceeding against four men accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 begins. It was reported that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile while flying over the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board, comprising 43 Malaysians, 193 Dutch nationals and 27 Australians, were killed. Members of the Malaysian media here to cover the start of the trial were given a briefing by press secretary for the judge, Yolande Wijnnobel, on what to expect at the start of the much-awai


By The Star
March 9, 2020

Current affairs, Environment

OPINION: ‘Righteous’ women

So who is this ‘righteous’ woman that would never dare join Aurat Marchers? ‘TIS the season to be righteous, or so many prominent Pakistanis on TV and social media along with the religious right would have us believe. Pakistan suffers from hypocritical moral policing at the best of times — in homes, colleges and universities, places of religious worship, and the workplace — but the trigger for the current frenzy is the impending Aurat Marches in many cities of the country. Given that these marches only began three years ago, one can only marvel at how rapidly they have gotten under the proverbial skin of their highly agitated opponents. Enough has been said and written about the wider context of the marches and why they threaten the


By ANN Members
March 6, 2020