Papua (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) held a coordinating meeting to discuss efforts to expedite handling of the impacts of flooding that hit Sentani and several other sub-districts in Jayapura District, Papua, on March 16, 2019.

"This coordinating meeting aims to discuss and identify various issues concerning efforts to speed up handling and support for the rescue operations by the PMI during the emergency response period," Sunarbowo Sandi, head of the PMI Headquarters, noted here, Saturday.

The Papua provincial government has declared an emergency response period from March 16 to 29, 2019, following the flash floods that devastated Sentani and other regions.

Arifin M. Hadi, head of the Disaster Mitigation Division of the PMI, remarked that the Red Cross had optimized services and endeavors during the rescue operations following the emergency response declaration.

The coordinating meeting was attended by representatives of the central and local PMI officers and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

In addition to the rescue operations in Sentani, the meeting discussed issues on refugees fleeing conflicts in Nduga, Papua. They have taken refuge in Wamena, Tiom, and Timika, among others.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the flooding and landslide that hit Jajyapura last week reached 112 people, while 94 others were still missing. The natural disasters caused serious injuries to 107 people and minor injuries to 808 others.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the Natural Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), noted in a statement in Jakarta on Friday that the flooding was triggered by deforestation in the Cycloops area.

"Incessant heavy rains in the Cycloops mountainous area, whose condition had degraded, caused flash floods in Jayapura District and the surrounding areas," he noted.

A total of 374 homes, four bridges, five places of worship, eight school buildings, 104 home-cum-shops, and a traditional market were damaged. Furthermore, the natural disasters led to the displacement of 11,556 people.

The local government in Papua has planned to relocate residents living in the Cycloop nature reserve area in a bid to avoid future flash floods.

Papua's Governor, Lukas Enembe, had earlier stated that the residents affected by the natural disasters will be moved to Wamena, Jayapura.

"This plan had been approved by President Joko Widodo. We just have to determine the proper location," he noted in Jayapura on Thursday.

According to the governor, Papua's government will discuss building public service facilities, such as hospitals, schools, and housing, for the resettled residents.

"This type of disaster has repeatedly occurred over a period of time, so the residents must be relocated," he added.

Translator: Aditia Aulia R, Fardah
Editor: Eliswan Azly
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