Indonesian floods kill two, force hundreds to evacuate

 At least two people were killed and hundreds forced to evacuate due to flooding in many areas of Indonesia while six others are still missing, according to the Indonesia’s National Agency for Disaster Management. 

Residents walking along a flooded road as they evacuate Dayeuhkolot village in Bandung. (Photo: AFP)

Residents walking along a flooded road as they evacuate Dayeuhkolot village in Bandung. (Photo: AFP)

Heavy rain has pounded Indonesia for days, causing the Citarum River on the island of Java to burst its banks and unleash deadly flash floods over a wide area.

Residents in a dozen communities on the outskirts of Bandung city, 180 km east of the capital Jakarta, were forced to wade through streets of chest-deep water in certain areas.

Images from the scene showed residents being moved to safety on pontoon boats and small wooden vessels.

Floods and landslides killed two residents in East Nusa Tenggara province on the island of Flores, the agency said.

Six others are still missing and three injured, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Flooding is common during Indonesia’s rainy season, which runs roughly from October to April.

In January this year, at least 70 people were killed when floods and landslides hit South Sulawesi province. The latest floods have affected over 30,000 people in parts of West Java and East Java provinces, the agency said.

Citarum River is a 300 km-long body of water that is a key source for hydroelectric power for Indonesia’s most populous island Java and tourism hotspot Bali. The river regularly bursts its banks during torrential rains.

The World Bank declared it the most polluted river in the world filled with household rubbish and toxic chemicals dumped by nearby factories.

In February 2018, Indonesia came up with a seven-year plan to revive the state of Citarum River.

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