Fri, 30 Jun 2000

Huge flood causes extensive damage

BOGOR (JP): Extensive flooding from four days of torrential rains and storms through Tuesday destroyed crops, irrigation systems, roads, schools, and hundreds of houses in 11 villages in Bogor regency.

Mimi, 39, a local resident at Gunung Picung village said on Wednesday flood waters rose suddenly while she and her family were chatting in their house located beside a river.

"We heard a rumbling sound so I abruptly grabbed my child and rushed to a neighbor's house," Mimi said.

"My house is now flooded by water about one meter high," she said, adding that the flood also brought big rocks down the river.

Assistant to the secretary of the regency, Harun Heryana, said on Tuesday that the other 10 damaged villages are Purna Bakti, Ciasmara, Ciasikan, Gunung Sari, Cibening, Gunung Bundar, Pasarelan, Pamijahan, and Cimayang.

According to Harun, flood waters overflowed the banks of six rivers, namely Cikoneng, Cibeber, Cikuwung, Cigamea, Ciampea, and Cigede coursing through the villages.

So far, he said, no fatalities have been reported in the disaster, estimated to have caused Rp 4 billion in damages.

Besides destroying 42 hectares of rice fields and 60 fish hatchery ponds, the flood also ruined the main road connecting the 11 villages and damaged one state elementary school, one Islamic secondary school, and two Islamic boarding schools.

About 2,000 cows, belonging to farming groups in Ciasmara, Purwabakti, and Cibening are feared to be in danger of perishing if they do not get water after the flood destroyed 387 running water systems used by the cattle in the three villages.

During a survey of the location on Wednesday, regent Agus Utara Effendi said that irrigation would be prioritized to be rebuilt considering its vital function to the community. (21/08)