Sat, 05 Feb 2000

Two killed, one missing in Makassar flooding

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi (JP): Two people were killed and one was reported missing after severe flooding in Makassar since Thursday.

Makassar Mayor Amiruddin Maula said on Friday that tens of thousands of people had to be rescued as their homes were severely inundated by the water which reached two meters in height. The flood was dubbed by locals as the worst in Makassar.

One victim was identified as Rosminini, 16, and the other has yet to be identified. A man identified as Cunding was reported missing.

The joint rescue team from the police Mobile Brigade, universities, youth organizations, and Air Force Paskhas troops have rescued almost 900 people.

The flood has crippled the pace of life in the city. However, no delay of flights at the Hasanuddin Airport were reported.

Almost all schools, shops and offices were closed. The employees said they had to stay home and save their belongings.

The Indonesian Muslim University and the Hasanuddin University were also closed.

The worst hit areas include Tamalate, Tidung, Toddopuli, Antang, Bung Permai and BTN Antara housing complexes.

The head of the meteorological and geophysics agency, Edi Waluyo, said that heavy downpours have caused the flooding. "The rainfall reached 391 millimeters this year, while last year it was only 220 millimeters," he said, adding that the tidal factor worsened the situation. The tide reached 40 centimeters in height, he said.

Floods also hit regencies outside Makassar, including Gowa, Maros and Parepare, the hometown of former president B.J. Habibie.

The road connecting Makassar and Parepare was damaged causing a heavy traffic jam. (27/sur)