Indonesia: Red Cross continues to support as further rains are forecast

Volunteers and staff from Palang Merah Indonesia are continuing to support flood-affected communities as the country braces for further heavy rains and storms forecast in the coming days and weeks.

Flash floods, flooding and landslides have killed 67 people and injured a further 110 since the crisis began on 28 December. Since then, more than 100,700 people have been displaced from their homes and communities in 255 sites across North Sumatra, West Java, Bengkulu and Jakarta. At the height of the crisis, some 300,000 people were displaced in the greater Jakarta metropolitan area alone.

Palang Merah Indonesia has deployed 455 volunteers and staff, 15 ambulances, 13 water tankers, 12 rubber boats and nine trucks in support of the affected communities, and has provided more than 90,000 food packages in the Central Jakarta and West Java areas.

The teams are responding on several fronts: helping people to evacuate and supporting them in centres; helping people to return home when it is safe to do so; providing first aid, health services and emotional support; and distributing clean water and running public kitchens. Volunteers and staff are also helping people clean the mud and debris left behind and spraying disinfectant to reduce the risk of diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis.

The heavy rains that caused the disaster were the most intense since records began in 1966, with Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency measuring 377 mm of rainfall on New Year’s Eve at an airport in East Jakarta. Rainfall above 150mm per day is considered extreme.

The flooding and landslides have caused extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure, including hundreds of homes and 20 bridges. A state of emergency is still in place in several flood-affected areas.