The Jakarta Globe, January 05, 2013
Surabaya. The Bengawan Solo River is starting to overflow, inundating villages along its banks in the Lamongan and Tuban districts of East Java, officials said on Friday.
In Lamongan, an embankment segment 25 meters long collapsed, flooding the village of Gedangan with 50 centimeters of water and prompting the collapse of 200 meters of embankment.
“We are currently coordinating with the Disaster Mitigation Team [Tagana] of the Lamongan district,” said Ibrahim Dasilva, a spokesman for the East Java Tagana.
In Tuban, 10 meters of the river’s embankment also collapsed, taking away a local village road and severing links between the villages of Kanorrejo and Ngadirejo in the Rengel subdistrict.
In the Tuban subdistrict of Soko, overflowing waters from the river inundated 55 houses and 123 hectares of rice fields in seven villages. The floods also submerged three kilometers of road in the area.
In the Bojonegoro district, the flow of water was strong and the water table high, prompting authorities to declare an alert.
Bojonegoro Tagana coordinator Sunandar said there was not yet any relief aid distributed to local people despite the flooding along the river. He said no one had been displaced so far but that emergency workers had prepared rubber boats and a canoe in case evacuation was required.
Sunandar said that local people were used to the river’s waters rising each rainy seasons and were usually prepared for evacuation. They were also used to constantly monitoring the height of the water.
When the water level becomes threatening, local residents usually leave for higher ground.
Earlier in the week, regions in Aceh, West Nusa Tenggara and East Java each reported flash floods following rains.