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On 22 January 2019, floods caused by heavy rainfall struck the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi. At least 68 people were killed and thousands were displaced. Gowa Regency was particularly hard-hit, experiencing the majority of the fatalities.

2019 South Sulawesi floods
South Sulawesi in Indonesia.svg
South Sulawesi province shaded red on a map of Indonesia
Date22 January 2019
Deaths68[1]
Non-fatal injuries47[2]
Missing6[1]

The most destructive flood was caused by the overflowing of the Jeneberang River and the opening of the watergates of the Bili-Bili Dam in Gowa, though other floods also occurred elsewhere in the province.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The province of South Sulawesi experiences flooding annually. Due to development of a low-pressure area in the Timor Sea coupled with increased humidity in the wet season, the rainfall levels in the area increased significantly, with the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency issuing an extreme weather warning between 21 and 26 January 2019.[3] One of the dams in the province, the Bili-Bili Dam which lies on the Jeneberang River, has suffered from silting, coupled with the critical condition of the river's catchment area due to agricultural use.[4]

FloodingEdit

The heavy rainfalls caused the Jeneberang River to overflow, resulting in the overfilling of the Gowa Regency's Bili-Bili Dam and forcing the water gates to be opened.[5] The water level in parts of Makassar reached roof level in excess of 1.5 metres (4.9 ft).[6] Other rivers in the province, such as the Walanae River also overflowed, causing further damage in other locations.[7]

By 25 January, the flooding had not receded fully, with some residents of Makassar still displaced.[8]

CasualtiesEdit

68 people were reported killed as of 25 January 2019, in addition to 6 missing. Most of the confirmed deaths were recorded in Gowa Regency, which suffered 45 dead.[1] Some of the deaths were due to electrocution, while others were caused by the landslides.[9]

ImpactEdit

The flooding directly impacted 10 regencies or cities, with 3,321 people being evacuated from 78 villages according to the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB). 5,825 people were recorded to be "impacted" by the flood, and 32 houses were confirmed to be swept away, with 25 further houses heavily damaged, 14 damaged, and 5 buried under landslides. 2,694 houses, 11,433 hectares (28,250 acres) of farmland were inundated, alongside damage to various public facilities.[10] The Indonesian Police reported 7,364 people in evacuation sites in Makassar, Gowa and Jeneponto.[11]

An official noted that the flooding was "the worst in a decade".[3] The Trans-Sulawesi Highway was impacted, being cut off for 20 hours.[12] Floodwater damaged pumps in Maros, disrupting the distribution of freshwater.[13] South Sulawesi governor Nurdin Abdullah estimated that the financial damages in Jeneponto Regency alone will be in excess of Rp 100 billion (USD 7 million).[14]

ResponseEdit

The Governor of South Sulawesi Nurdin Abdullah declared an emergency response period which was to last until 29 January 2019.[14] Search and Rescue teams from various organizations - BNPB, Indonesian Police, TNI, various ministries and volunteer groups - were deployed to search for and evacuate survivors.[15] A helicopter from the Indonesian Air Force was deployed to deliver aid to an isolated settlement in Gowa.[16]

AftermathEdit

South Sulawesi governor Nurdin Abdullah blamed environmental damages due to illegal mining in Gowa Regency for causing the floods.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Death toll from Indonesia floods, landslides climbs to 68". Channel NewsAsia. 26 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  2. ^ Fadhil, Haris (25 January 2019). "Korban Tewas Banjir-Longsor Sulsel Bertambah Jadi 59 Orang". detiknews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Banjir Sulawesi Selatan terparah dalam satu dekade terakhir, 59 orang meninggal". BBC (in Indonesian). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Gubernur Sulsel: Banjir Bandang Disebabkan Pendangkalan Sungai dan Perusakan Hutan". KOMPAS (in Indonesian). 23 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Six killed, thousands displaced in South Sulawesi floods". The Jakarta Post. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  6. ^ "5 Fakta Bencana Banjir dan Longsor di Sulsel, Balita Meninggal Kedinginan hingga Helikopter Bantuan Diserbu Warga". KOMPAS (in Indonesian). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  7. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Banjir Sudah Sampai di Kecamatan Tempe Wajo". Tribun Timur (in Indonesian). 24 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Banjir Belum Surut, Warga Makassar Masih Mengungsi di Masjid : Okezone News". Okezone (in Indonesian). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Death toll from Indonesia floods, landslides climbs to 68". Channel NewsAsia. 26 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  10. ^ Fadil, Iqbal (25 January 2019). "Banjir 10 Kabupaten di Sulsel, 30 Orang Meninggal Ribuan Warga Mengungsi". Merdeka (in Indonesian). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  11. ^ "2.831 Personel Polri Bantu Evakuasi Korban Banjir Sulawesi Selatan". Bisnis.com (in Indonesian). 24 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  12. ^ Taufiqqurrahman, Muhammad (24 January 2019). "Terputus 20 Jam Diterjang Banjir, Jalur Trans Sulawesi Kini Lancar". detiknews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Pompa Rusak Akibat Banjir, Air PDAM Maros Bermasalah". Tribun Timur (in Indonesian). 22 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Gubernur: Tanggap Darurat Sulsel Hingga 29 Januari". Berita Satu (in Indonesian). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  15. ^ "BNPB Sudah Salurkan Bantuan untuk Korban Bencana di Sulsel". Tribunnews.com (in Indonesian). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Heli Kirim Bantuan ke Lokasi yang Terisolasi Diterjang Banjir Sulsel". detiknews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Nurdin Abdullah Sebut Penambangan Liar di Gowa Penyebab Banjir". Tribun Timur (in Indonesian). 24 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.