Indonesia

Indonesia: Floods hit schools, landslide kills one

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Andi Hajramurni and Nurni Sulaiman , The Jakarta Post , Makassar

Second-grader Dinda from state elementary school Inpres Karunrung in Makassar, South Sulawesi, pulled up her knees several times and placed her soaking-wet feet on the footrest beneath her desk.

"My legs are cold; it's this water that's flooded the classroom since morning," the 8-year-old said Tuesday of the foul-smelling floodwater tinged brownish-yellow from the household wastewater it picked up from gutters.

Dinda and the other students at the school have frequently had to study in classrooms flooded by the heavy rains of the past three weeks.

Classes for first-, second- and third-graders at the school are located in lower plot than classes for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders.

Beside the cold, the students also complained of skin irritations from the filthy water.

"I'm itchy," said third-grader Andri.

Second-grade teacher Farida said the flooding was an annual occurrence 24 years in the running.

"Every time the rainy season rolls around, the school gets flooded."

She added she hoped the Makassar administration would help resolve the problem.

"I'm worried it could disrupt the students' concentration," she said.

The school was built in 1984 in a reclaimed swamp, and began experiencing floods since 1986, following the development of residential complexes nearby.

Despite the recurrent problem, the school board has never cancelled classes to wait for the floodwaters to subside, citing no instructions to that effect from the local education agency.

Besides Inpres Karunrung, several other schools in Makassar face a similar problem. The schools are located in the Antang, Tamalanrea and Malengkeri areas.

Over in Bangli district in Pasuruan, East Java, flooding that hit three villages over the weekend has forced the closure of three elementary schools there, thus postponing exams.

The three schools are the Ibtidaiyah Miftahul Anwar Kalianyar Islamic school, state elementary school Kalianyar 1 and state elementary school Tambaan, Antara reported.

Meanwhile, a man died Tuesday in a landslide in Prapatan Dalam subdistrict in Balikpapan, East

Kalimantan.

The victim, identified only as Yudi, 24, had reportedly been digging in the area when the landslide occurred.

The densely populated subdistrict area is located on a steep 45-degree incline.

Balikpapan-based surveyor Suta Vijaya Geologist previously highlighted several spots across the city at risk of landslides, but their warning went largely ignored.

In 2007, five people were killed in landslides in the East Kalimantan capital, including a high school student from Prapatan Dalam subdistrict.