Five die as S. Sulawesi floods intensify
Andi Hajramurni, The Jakarta Post, Makassar | Archipelago | Sun, January 06 2013, 6:46 PM
Five residents have died after being swept away floodwaters in the South Sulawesi regencies of Gowa, Jeneponto and Pangkep, according to the local search and rescue agency.
Tens of thousands homes in nine regencies and municipalities across the province, including Barru, Makassar, Maros, Pare-Pare, Soppeng and Takalar ,were inundated by floodwaters that ran up to two meters deep. Government offices, school buildings, hospitals and rice fields have also been affected.
Flooding and landslides have disrupted travel along local highways, including the Maros – Bone route, causing severe traffic problems.
“We are collecting data on the number of homes affected by the flooding and on the losses,” provincial disaster mitigation agency head Mappagio said Sunday.
The agency, along with the Indonesian Red Cross and joint search and rescue teams, has built temporary shelters, health centers and distributed relief supplies.
South Sulawesi Deputy Governor Agus Arifin Nu’mang said that the office would coordinate with the Navy to evacuate residents living in isolated areas.
Indonesian Red Cross chairman Jusuf Kalla, who was monitoring a number of flood-affected spots on Sunday, pledged to distribute more aid to the victims.
“We will distribute materials for all the victims’ needs, but we won’t give assistance in the form of cash,” he said.
During the visit, Kalla also provided four rubber boats.
Heavy rainfall has pounded the province since the first day of the year, causing a number of rivers to overflow their banks. (swd)