Flood disasters are common in Indonesia, especially in densely populated lowland areas such as Jakarta. Basically floods occur because of human actions themselves which do not care for the environment properly. In recent years, several regions in Indonesia have been hit by major flooding which left thousands of people homeless and dozens of people dead.
In addition, floods caused some of these areas to be totally paralyzed because the water continued to stagnate for several days. Most of these major floods occur due to high rainfall and poor environmental hygiene. Immediately, the following is the worst flood in Indonesia history.
Awareness of the need to take flood mitigation measures has existed for a long time. It was following the flood in 1918 in Jakarta that also paralyzed Batavia. Governor General Batavia Jan Pieterszoon Coen, to appoint special architects to handle this flood. Flooding at that time soaked residents’ settlements because of the abundance of water from the Ciliwung, Cisadane, Angke and Bekasi rivers.
Prof. Ir. Herman Van Breen, a Dutch professor, at that time planned a more strategic concept in tackling floods. The concept is to try to control the flow of water from the river upstream and limit the volume of water entering the city. As a result of flooding, means of transportation, including the tram line of electricity were submerged in water. Two reserve locomotives were deployed to assist the trams that went on strike on the way. Flooding that year was the worst in the past two decades.
It is estimated that as many as 714,861 people had to be evacuated when the flood hit Jakarta on January 19-20 1979. A total of 20 people were lost in water swallowed somewhere. The incident occurred in the era of Governor Tjokropranolo. The 1979 flood in Jakarta inundated a residential area with an area of 1,100 hectares. Flooding caused by local rain and floods of shipments soaked residential areas.
Even when the disaster came at that time, South Jakarta, which was usually safe from flooding, did not move. Pondok Pinang is drowned by 2.5 meters of water. In that area 3 people disappeared. Puskesmas in Jakarta are also deployed to serve refugees. So, while you visit Jakarta in rainy season, better to read How to avoid flood in Jakarta.
During the reign of President Soeharto, the capital was recorded as having been flooded several times, one of which was on January 6-9, 1996, Jakarta was submerged after two days of rain. A month later, February 9-13, 1996, three days of heavy rainfall with rainfall five times above normal, soaked Jakarta as high as 7 meters. As a result of flooding, 529 houses were washed away, 398 damaged. Victims reached 20 people, 30,000 refugees. Damage value reached USD 435 million.
Not until there was a large flood recorded again on January 13, 1997. Heavy rain for 2 days caused 4 urban villages in East Jakarta to overflow the Cipinang River, 754 houses, 2640 people submerged in water around 80 cm. In addition, several main roads in West Jakarta and Central Jakarta were paralyzed due to flooding. This year’s floods also caused telecommunications facilities and electricity to die completely. Then on January 26, 1999 floods occurred again in Jakarta, Tangerang and Bekasi. Thousands of homes were submerged, 6 people died, 30,000 people were displaced.
- Flash Floods in Bukit Lawang (2003)
Flash floods that hit Bukit Lawang in Langkat, North Sumatra, might be a clear proof that deforestation is dangerous. Heavy rain can make landslides accompanied by severe floods and make anything in front of them washed away including the wall buildings used by residents as hotels and inns.
Flooding that occurred at Bukit Lawang 2003 killed 129 people including 7 foreigners who traveled. In addition to the deaths of around 100 people were declared missing until they were confirmed to have died. After the disaster of banjir bandang, tourism activities in Bukit Lawang were smashed to pieces until residents had to try to build everything from scratch.
- Flash floods in Jember (2006)
Flash floods with the most fatalities occurred in Jember, East Java. The flood disaster that occurred in early January 2016 occurred because there was an overflow of Sugai Denoyo and also the Kaliputih River that passed through residential areas. As a result of this disaster around 51 people were found dead and 30 others were seriously injured.
Flash floods that occurred in Jember ten years ago occurred due to deforestation in the Hyang Argopuro Mountains. The rainwater couldn’t be held by trees carrying soil until flooding accompanied by landslides makes all residents isolated and difficult to get help.
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- Jakarta Flood (2007)
Jakarta is known as a city that has a tradition of flood subscriptions since decades ago. For Jakarta residents, flooding is something ordinary and has been experienced since childhood. But, the floods that occurred in 2007 were very different. Jakarta is completely inundated until the water level in some areas exceeds 3 meters.
Disasters that occurred due to high rainfall and water shipments from 13 rivers that crossed Jakarta caused 48 people to die in the Jakarta area and the remaining 32 died in West Java and Banten. The 2007 floods were the worst flooding in Jakarta and its surroundings.
- Wasior flash flood (2010)
Super large flash floods have occurred in Wasior, West Papua. This flood occurred due to the overflowing of the Batang Sala river which originated in the Wondiwoy Mountains. Rain for two days made the river unable to hold more water. This is further exacerbated by the destruction of the forest in Wasior until the water cannot be detained by the roots of plants in the forest.
Flash floods that occurred in Wasior caused at least 158 people to die and 145 others were still missing. Infrastructure in Wasioe was destroyed, bridges, houses of worship, airfields, until the hospital was badly damaged, so many people were evacuated to Manokwari and Nabire.
- Tangse Flash flood (2011)
Flash floods that occurred in Tangse, Aceh caused at least 24 people to die. The average death toll cannot save themselves from large waves of overflowing water and carry hundreds of logs of clay harvested in the forests around Tangse.
The forest that began to clear causes all the water to be collected in the river around Tangse for 4 days and four nights. As a result, water spills everywhere and damages a lot of infrastructure such as bridges and hundreds of people’s houses around the river.
- Manado Flash Flood (2014)
The next disaster happened two years after Flash flood in Aceh. At this time, the flash flood disaster devastated the city of Manado on January 15, 2014. The floods that hit four regions in North Sulawesi caused tens of thousands of people to evacuate because their homes were flooded.
Noted, there were 19 people who died in this flash flood disaster. The cause of flooding was due to the loss of forests and small rivers around Manado, as well as damage to catchment areas due to haphazard development.
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- Garut Flood (2016)
The overflowing Cimanuk River water due to high rainfall made several areas in the Garut Regency hit by flash floods on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. There were 33 deaths recorded by the search team, two of which were still not identified. In addition, there are still 20 other people who reportedly still disappear.
Flash floods that occurred in Garut made hundreds of people displaced because their homes were totally damaged, some of them were unable to be re-occupied. Schools that have been hit by flooding have to be temporarily closed.
Those are the worst flood in Indonesia that noted to be the most severe. When rainy season comes, it would be better for Indonesians to clean the river together. And, littering in a river is really fatal mistake!