Indonesia

Indonesia: Thousands of displaced victims still in shelters one week on

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A week after floods hit Karawang regency, West Java, victims, mainly children, have begun suffering from diseases due to a lack of food and supplies.

Yulistia Widasari said that since she and her family evacuated to a shelter she has not been able to afford milk for her five-month-old baby.

"My husband is just a pedicab driver with an uncertain income. Now the pedicab is submerged by the flood, which inundated our house up to our chest," the 34-year-old resident of Babakan Toge village told Antara.

"I'm so sad when Andrea cries for her milk. I used to give her a glass a day but now I can't," Yulia said.

Another flood victim, Aan Daryati, tried to comfort her son, one-year-old Mito, at a shelter at Adiyaksa sport hall.

Since moving to the shelter, she said Mito has suffered from a fever from sleeping on the cold floor and having irregular meals.

"In the shelter, we eat whenever we can, sometimes only once a day," she said.

A medical staffer posted to Karawang's main square, Siti Yulyana, said many flood victims suffer from skin problems, diarrhea, fevers and cold.

"We just provide basic services and necessary medicine. If they need further medical attention, we refer them to a hospital," she said.

Some 200 to 300 victims have sought medical assistance. The post is equipped to serve around 6,000 flood victims from Karawang Kulon subdistrict.

"We have enough medical supplies for basic treatments," she said.

"Lack of rest, inadequate nutrition and stress from worrying about flood damage can easily trigger health problems," she said.

The flood in Karawang, the worst in 15 years, has now forced 65,000 residents to flee to higher ground, according to Karawang Regent Dadang S. Muchtar.

He said to stop the spread of floods to other areas along the Citarum River in Karawang and Bekasi, he had asked the Jatiluhur Dam authorities to release more water from the dam.

He was accompanying visiting Coordinating Public Welfare Minister Agung Laksono and Social Services Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufrie inspecting the flooded areas.

Hundreds of congregation members at Karawang Grand Mosque held a joint prayer, asking God to subside the flood water.

In West Sumatra, floods and landslides affected a number of areas in Padang and Pariaman cities and Padangpariaman regency, claiming the lives of two people and damageing scores of homes.

The floods also inundated more than 1,000 homes in up to a meter of water.