Floods in West Java: 23 dead and 18 missing
by Mathias Hariyadi

The toll is still provisional. Torrential rains started two days ago, causing the Cimanuk river to burst its banks and several landslides. Thousands of homes submerged by the waters, people seek refuge on rooftops. The Agency for Environmental Disasters is searching for the missing and working to distribute basic necessities to the displaced. The provincial governor blames excessive deforestation.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The provisional toll from flooding that has hit the region Garut (West Java) is of at least 23 dead and 18 missing. Torrential rains started to fall two days ago and enveloping at least seven sub-districts. The local population says it is the worst disaster in a decade. The most affected regions are Bayongbong, Banyu Resmi, Tarogong Kaler, Tarogong Kidul, Karang Pawitan and Semarang.

The disaster has been compounded by the fact that the Cimanuk river has burst its banks due to the excessive rains sweeping away thousands of homes in the Tarogong Kidul sub-district. Hundreds of people have taken refuge on rooftops to save themselves. In Sumedang the flooding has also provoked  several landslides that have engulfed many houses.

Governor of West Java, Ahmad "Aher" Heriawan, says that the floods and landslides are caused by the intense deforestation practiced in recent years.

Willem Rampangilei, head of the National Agency for Environmental Disasters (Bnpb), assured that the authorities will continue rescue operations and the distribution of basic necessities, food and housing for 433 evacuees. The Bnpb has allocated 2 billion rupees (about 136mila euro) for the emergency.