Based on data from the Bogor Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD Bogor), at least 134 households comprising a total of 474 people were affected by the disaster.
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BOGOR, KOMPAS – Four separate flash floods on Tuesday (19/1/2021) hit the Gunung Mas area of Kampung Rawa Dulang, South Tugu village, in Cisarua, Bogor regency, West Java. Based on data from the Bogor Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD Bogor), at least 134 households comprising a total of 474 people were affected by the disaster.
“It rained from Sunday to Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, I heard a rumbling sound, but it was strange because it only got louder. Then people were screaming. When I came out, I saw that water had overflowed onto the road. I immediately looked for my children and other family members. We’re safe, we’re fine,” Iis Hapsoh (42), a resident of Kampung Rawa Dulang, said yesterday at a shelter belonging to state-owned plantation holding company, PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) VIII.
Contining, Iis said that after the first flash flood at 9 a.m., another flood occurred at around 10 a.m., followed by two more flash floods at around 11 a.m. and then 1 p.m.
The flash floods carried mud and tree debris, as well as many heads of livestock such as goats and cows that were swept away by the rushing water.
Wawah Windardi (65), another evacuee, said that the flash floods affected his home as well as the homes of other local residents. “We were afraid that, with more heavy rain, there will be more floods. So we were asked to evacuate,” he said.
Emergency and logistics head Raya Alfajar of BPBD Bogor said the flash floods were suspected to be the result of a landslide in Curug Cisampai at the foot of Mount Pangrango and upstream of the Ciliwung River. The landslide became obstructed, and the heavy rain is though to have carried the mud down the slopes.
We were afraid that, with more heavy rain, there will be more floods. So we were asked to evacuate.
“We cannot be sure what caused [the flash floods]. We have also been unable to directly reach the location, which is about four kilometers away,” said Raya.
Bogor Environment Agency head Asnan said the upstream area where the tributaries of the Ciliwung passed was prone to disasters, and that many structures along the river were being monitored.
Asnan said the agency had sent a team to inspect the area and start investigating the possible causes of the flooding. “The floods may have been caused by many factors, such as extreme weather or changes to the land. We will later confirm [the causes] in the field,” he said.
The Upper Ciliwung Watershed Area (DAS) was an important conservation area as well as a major tourist destination for residents of Greater Jakarta (Jabodetabek). The management of the area involved various agencies at the central and regional levels, said Asnan.
IPB University researcher Ernan Rustandi said that, through the many studies he had conducted, he had discovered discrepancies in the spatial layout of the villages of North
Tugu and South Tugu. The actual layout of the two villages differed from the district spatial plan (RTRW). The two villages were important vanguards due to their locations in the Upper Ciliwung Watershed.
Raya added that the agency was currently prioritizing evacuation to ensure the safety of the local residents, and that the health protocols were being implemented strictly to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“There were no casualties or injuries. However, four neighborhood units [RT] and two community units [RW] were affected, as well as around 400 families,” he said.
BPBD West Java emergency head Budi Budiman Wahyu confirmed the information, while Bogor Deputy Regent Iwan Setiawan said that for the time being, the residents affected by the flash floods were prohibited from returning to their homes due to bad weather.
Series of disasters
A series of natural disasters, including flash floods and landslides, have struck West Java this month. Several landslides occurred earlier on Saturday (9/1) in Cihanjuang village of Cimanggung district, Sumedang regency. The landslides killed as many as 40 people, with the majority of victims buried beneath the mudflow and debris. A 10-day search and rescue operation was conducted to locate the victims.
Ferrari Pinem, who heads the disaster mapping and climate change division at the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), said that his team’s field survey showed that the factors that had contributed significantly to the landslides in Cihanjuang village included the inclination angle, high rainfall, drainage, rock and soil conditions, and land cover.
Pinem added that, based on the team’s observations, additional landslides were a potential hazard to the area. “There is a possibility that landslides will occur in the following days. Fractures in the ground surface have been found in the area, as well as high levels of water flow,” he said.
The findings corresponded with the statement of ground movement mitigation coordinator Agus Budianto of the Volcanology and Geological Hazards Mitigation Center (PVMBG).
Meanwhile, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has asked all regional heads to assess disaster hazard zones and try to move residents to safer places.