A woman carries her daughter as she and her neighbors evacuate from a flooded village in Banjar district, South Kalimantan, on Friday. (Antara Photo/Bayu Pratama S.)

At Least Five Killed and Thousands Displaced as Floods Hit North Sulawesi, South Kalimantan


JANUARY 17, 2021

Jakarta. Five people were killed, and one was still missing after floods and landslides hit Manado, North Sulawesi, on Saturday following heavy rain over some unstable soil structure on Saturday, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB, said in a statement on Sunday. 

Floods have also inundated seven districts in South Kalimantan since Thursday, displacing more than 112,000 people in the province. 


Manado's disasters capped an unfortunate week in Indonesia, which saw a landslide in West Java, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in West Sulawesi, and a volcanic eruption in East Java. 

Raditya Jati, BNPB's head of data, information, and communication division, said the flood in Manado has gradually receded but advise the city's residents to remain vigilant. 

"Based on the monitoring of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), Manado has the potential to experience moderate to heavy rain which can be accompanied by lightning," Raditya said on Sunday. 

"BNPB urges the public to remain vigilant and alert in the midst of the rainy season that will occur in several areas until February," he said. 

South Kalimantan Floods

The South Kalimantan government declared a state of emergency on Thursday after floods having inundated seven districts and cities, including Tapin, Banjar, Banjar Baru, Tanah Laut, Hulu Sungai Tengah, Balangan, and Tabalong, for four days.

BNPB reported 112,709 residents were evacuated from their homes, and 27,111 houses were still inundated. In some places, the water could be between two and three meters deep. 

Banjar district was the most heavily affected by the flood, with more than 51,000 people displaced, BNPB said in a statement on Saturday. 

"BNPB has also distributed aid to the seven districts affected by floods, including clothing, food, tarpaulin, mattresses, blankets, and basic disaster equipment," Raditya said. 

South Kalimantan capital Banjarmasin, located on the site where Barito River meets with Martapura River, has also experienced floods due to the rising tide. The city expected runoff from Banjar and Banjar Baru through the Martapura River would increase the water level in the city for the next few days.

"We estimated the tide would peak tomorrow and return to normal on Jan 21," Hizbulwathoni, the head of the river works at Banjarmasin's public works and spatial planning department, told Antara news agency on Sunday.

"But the runoff from neighboring regions are still coming, so we are still on alert," he said.