Indonesia: West Kalimantan and South Sulawesi Floods, Final Report DREF Operation n° MDRID017

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

Melawi district, West Kalimantan

Torrential rain with strong winds in West Kalimantan province area overflowed Melawi and Pinoh rivers which are tributary rivers from Kapuas River that flow across the province. The overflow caused flooding in nine sub-districts in Melawi namely Sokan, Tanah Pinoh, Sayan, Menukung, Ella Hilir, Pinoh Selatan, Pinoh Utara, Nanga Pinoh and Belimbing sub-district. The flood inundated the area from 8 July 2020, and by 25 July 2020, the flood had affected 17,979 households (63,645 people) in Melawi district alone. Additionally, the flood also inundated 11,675 houses with a flood level ranging from 0.5 - 1.3 metres. Responding to the massive impact and flood coverage, Melawi district Head of Regent declared an emergency response phase for the district from 10 – 24 of July 2020.

By early August 2020, the flooding had receded in most of the areas. However, from 13 - 14 August, heavy rainfall affected the same areas again, triggering landslides and flash floods around Pinoh Selatan sub-district. The situation improved over the course of several days, with the number of villages still inundated by floods decreased and almost all affected villages received relief support and aid. By 6 September 2020 however, torrential rain had caused another flood in Melawi district. At the time, the flood-level ranged between 3 - 6 meters, and it was considered as the worst flood in 32 years. The flood affected 84,293 people and inundated 17,767 houses in ten sub-districts across Melawi district. The flood lasted 3 weeks and consequently, response activities and daily routines were paralyzed by the floods. By 24 September 2020, flood waters started to recede in almost all inundated sub-districts leaving post-flood debris and mud in the area. Various agencies such as BPBD, the district authorities, military and police conducted post-flood cleaning activities for the second time in three months.

Ketapang and Sintang district, West Kalimantan

Floods not only affected Melawi district but also in Sintang district which is also located around the Kapuas River and several tributary rivers from Kapuas River. The flood submerged 29 villages in nine sub-districts including, Serawai, Kayan Hulu and Kayan Hilir, Dedai, Ambalau, Tempunak, Sintang, Ketungau Hilir and Sepauk. Based on reports, 13,762 households (estimated 55,468 people) and 20,693 houses were affected in nine sub-districts.

In Ketapang district, the flooding resulted from the overflow of the Malay Rayak River, which submerged 35 villages in four sub-districts. Approximately 3,722 households (13,754 people) and 1,851 houses were affected. Lastly, in Landak district, 859 households (approx. 4,297 people) were also affected by the flood. Many affected families stayed on the second floor of their houses, and those whose houses did not have a second floor stayed temporarily with their relatives or neighbors having second floors that could accommodate them. The floods not only submerged residential areas but also impacted several public facilities such as mosques, churches, schools, and bridges as well as community-owned plantations which affected livelihoods. In Sanggau and Kapuas Hulu districts, after the flood receded, the community started to clean up their homes and other public facilities.

North Luwu and Wajo districts, South Sulawesi

High intensity rainfall in North Luwu District on 13 July 2020 prompted the overflowing of three rivers: Masamba, Rongkang, and Radda which caused flooding in the sub-districts of Masamba, Sabbang, Baebunta, South Baebunta, Malangke, and West Malangke.

The Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency or ‘Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana’ (BNPB) reported that as of 17 July 2020, 30 villages in six sub-districts of North Luwu were affected by the floods. Approximately 15,994 people were affected. Of this, 38 fatalities 19 injuries were recorded, with 15 people also reported missing. In addition, more than 3,627 households totaling an estimated 14,483 people were temporarily displaced. While over half of these displaced households were sheltering in government buildings such as PMI’s building, the Regional People Representative Council or ‘Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah’ (DPRD) office, and North Luwu Mayor’s office; around 1,440 households established temporary shelters elsewhere in two open air spaces in Radda and Mela villages. On 17 July 2020, the Indonesian Electricity Company or ‘Perusahaan Listrik Negara’ (PLN) managed to recover the electricity supply in North Luwu. Unfortunately, access to clean water supply in North Luwu remained disrupted in some of the affected areas.

Considering these challenges, North Luwu district-level government initially declared an emergency response phase from 14 July to 12 August 2020, which was later extended from 13 August 2020 to 12 September 2020. Post-emergency phase, an early-recovery phase was set from 12 September 2020 until 10 March 2021 by North-Luwu district authorities. State-owned water company (Perusahaan Air Minum or PAM) had begun works to rehabilitate the damaged water pipeline, however, to fill the gap, a water treatment plan and water trucking were operating more than initially planned to address the needs.

Prior to the flash flood, floods inundated North Luwu district on several occasions that occurred on:

  • 17 June 2020: Flood inundated Masamba, South Baebunta and West Malangke sub-district.

  • 26 June 2020: Flood inundated Masamba, South Baebunta and West Malangke sub-districts.

  • 12 July 2020: Flood inundated Masamba, South Baebunta and West Malangke sub-districts.

  • 13 July 2020: Flood inundated Masamba, Baebunta, South Baebunta, Sabbang, Malangke and West Malangke sub-district. The flood considered as the worst flood in 37 years.

While in Wajo district, South Sulawesi, heavy rainfall caused the overflowing of water from Lake Tempe Dam and flooding nearby residential areas from 4 - 6 metres deep. It was reported the overflowed lake caused the dam to collapse. As of 19 July 2020, water level in the residential areas had yet to recede, affecting around 16,691 households (50,349 people). The flood also forced 178 household (605 people) to self-evacuate to evacuation centres while 123 household (399 people) evacuated to their relative's houses. In total, 11,889 houses were lightly damaged, 2,325 houses moderately damaged and nine houses were severely damaged by the flood. The flood also inundated several public facilities and farms in the area. By early August 2020, flood waters began to recede and communities with the support from local authorities and organizations-initiated cleaning activities.