Social Affairs Ministry sends logistics aid to flood-hit South Sulawesi

Social Affairs Ministry sends logistics aid to flood-hit South Sulawesi

Incessant heavy rains triggered floods in South Sulawesi on Jan 23, 2019. ANTARA FOTO/Abriawan Abhe/foc. (ANTARA FOTO/ABRIAWAN ABHE)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita has ordered to dispatch logistics aid and rescue officers to six districts and a city in South Sulawesi Province hit by flash floods.

"The team has moved to the locations. Some 450 personnel will help the process to evacuate flood victims," he stated here, Wednesday.

The logistics aid worth Rp874,517,200 comprises food, beverages, blankets, kitchenware, and clothing, among other things.

Flash floods hit the districts of Gowa, Maros, Pangkep, Barru, Jeneponto, and Sopeng, as well as Makassar City.

One hundred personnel were deployed in Gowa, 200 in Makassar, and 50 each in Pangkep and Barru. The ministry also deployed two rubber boats in Gowa and one in Makassar.

Gowa is the worst hit by flooding triggered by incessant heavy rains over the last two days. Jeneberang River, the longest river in South Sulawesi, also overflowed its bank.

The floods displaced 2,121 residents of Gowa and some one thousand others in Makassar.

They are currently being accommodated in mosques and local government offices, among others.

Two public kitchens have been set up in Makassar and one in Gowa.

Meanwhile, the residents of Antang Makassar residential area in Manggala Sub-district, Makassar, were taken by surprise after a flash flood, with floodwaters, reaching a height of 1.5 meters, suddenly hit the housing complex.

"This flood is different from those in the previous years. The floodwaters suddenly rose very high," Jihadul Arifin, a resident of the Antang Makassar housing complex, remarked in Makassar on Wednesday.

The water currents were quite strong and reached the height of an adult`s chest, he added.

The flash flood originated from Gowa District, which shares its border with Manggala Sub-district, after the Bili-Bili dam was opened, he noted.

Arifin said he and other flood victims had no time to salvage their belongings, as the flash flood struck without warning on Tuesday at around 4 p.m. local time.

"I and other residents are currently taking refuge in a mosque. We need food, clothes, and blankets," he added.

On the previous day, parts of Makassar City were also flooded following incessant heavy rain that fell from Monday evening until Tuesday noon.

Floodwaters reached height of up to 1.5 meters in Katimbang, Biringkanayan Sub-district.

Reporting by Desi Purnamawati, Fardah
Editing by Suharto