Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry has made sustained efforts to restore access to the villages cut off by the flooding in North Konawe District, Southeast Sulawesi Province.

Access to the road connecting North Konawe District to Morowali District in Central Sulawesi was reopened on Monday (June 17) after the ministry conducted temporary repair of the Asera Bridge, Yohanis Tulak Todingrara, head of the Kendari road construction office (Kendari BPJN), noted in a statement here on Tuesday.

"The repair was conducted by installing a 30-meter-long Beiley bridge that can take a maximum load of eight tons. Four four-wheeler cars could cross the bridge in one direction alternately," Todingarara explained.

Todingrara remarked that Rahabangga Bridge, located in Uepai Village, Konawe District, was also repaired. The flood had damaged the bridge, thereby resulting in access being severed to the road connecting Konawe and East Kolaka District, part of the Trans Sulawesi highway.

The ministry has also repaired the 50.2-meter-long Woimendaa Bridge over the Trans Sulawesi Highway in Kolaka.

The Baeni II Bridge, located in Wawatobi-Pohara, submerged by floodwaters, was reopened, as floodwaters subsided.

Through the deployment of heavy equipment, the ministry has also cleared mud covering several roads after the flooding.

In the meantime, floods, triggered by torrential downpour, had inundated seven sub-districts in North Konawe District, Southeast Sulawesi Province, since June 2, resulting in the Lalindu, Walasoko, and Wadambali rivers overflowing their banks.

Andowia, Asera, Landawe, Langkikima, Oheo, Wiwirano, and Motui were the seven affected sub-districts, La Ode Muh Amaduddin, spokesman of the North Konawe district administration, remarked on Monday (June 17).

Based on data of the North Konawe authorities, flooding has impacted the lives of 18,489 people, and 8,489 are taking refuge on higher ground.

The flooding also submerged 1,837 homes and five mosques and swept away 370 homes.

Four bridges were destroyed, while four others were submerged under floodwaters.

Floods also inundated four local health centers, a medicine warehouse, three traditional markets, 10 elementary school buildings, three junior high school buildings, 17 kindergartens, and the Trans Sulawesi highway.

Moreover, 970 hectares of rice fields, 83.5 hectares of corn fields, and 420 hectares of fish ponds were inundated by the flooding.

The local authorities have deployed personnel -- local, military, and police officers -- to facilitate the evacuation of flood victims.

Relief assistance in the form of 5,033 boxes of instant noodles, 4,287 boxes of mineral water, 42,179 kilograms of rice, and 1,563 sacks of clothing was distributed.

Translator: Mentari Dwi G, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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