Floods in Central Java displace thousands of residents

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By Suherdjoko

Flooding has struck several areas in Central Java over recent days, displacing thousands of local residents and cutting off access via main roads.

For the last two days, the overflowing Pemali, Cisaranggung and Babakan rivers have damaged embankments, causing flooding in several areas, including Brebes, Wanasari, Banjarharjo, Losari and Jatibarang.

Flooding struck 10 villages in Brebes regency, forcing 4,930 people to be evacuated from the area. The number of displaced residents has reached 4,930 people, with the potential to increase if weather conditions worsen over the coming days.

Among the villages struck by floods were Terlangu, Miri, Lengkong and Wangandalem.

Data from the Brebes Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) showed that floodwater in 16 villages had reached 30 to 150 centimeters deep, affecting approximately 1,500 houses.

Flooding also cut off access via the main road connecting Brebes and Tegal regencies through Jatibarang.

Central Java search and rescue team spokesperson Zulhawary Agustianto said the areas worst impacted by the flood were Terlangu and Kemaron villages.

“Those two villages are located near the damaged embankment. The flood reached 1 meter [deep] in certain areas,” Agustianto said.

The three biggest evacuation shelters currently housing residents are Lengkong with 1,350 people, Brebes Sports Center with 1,075 residents and Pulosari with 850 residents. Wisma Saditan accommodated the smallest number of residents, with only 30 people taking refuge there.