Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that flooding in Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi Province, has affected 5,847 families comprising 22,573 people in 24 sub-districts with 166 villages devastated.

Torrential downpour triggered flooding that resulted in the rivers of Konaweeha, Lahambuti, and Rawa Aopa overflowing their banks, BNPB spokesperson Rita Rosita remarked here on Wednesday.

Information from the Konawe disaster mitigation office on Tuesday indicated that the sub-districts of Pondidaha, Wonggeduku, and West Wonggeduku are still submerged in floodwaters of between 30 centimeters and a meter in height.

Flooding cut off access to the sub-districts of Routa and Latoma, while the Pondidaha road was inundated with floodwaters stretching as far as some three kilometers.

The BNPB and Indonesian Army have deployed helicopters and boats to dispatch logistics and relief aid to the isolated sub-districts.

The disaster swift response team and medical team have extended assistance to flood victims.

Flooding in Konawe inundated 4,688 homes of which 192 incurred serious damage, 513 houses were moderately damaged, and 575 were slightly damaged.

At least 32 kindergartens, 49 elementary schools, and 14 high schools were flooded.

Floods also affected 3,246 hectares of rice fields, 357 hectares of corn farms, and 385 hectares of other agricultural farms.

Major flooding has hit the districts of Konawe, North Konawe, and South Konawe in Southeast Sulawesi Province since early June of 2019.

Ruksamin, the district head of North Konawe, which had borne the maximum impact of flooding, announced an emergency response status for a period of 14 days, from June 2 to 16, 2019.

In the meantime, 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.

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 on Tuesday.

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

Todingrara added that repair work was also conducted on the Rahabangga Bridge, located in Uepai Village, Konawe District. 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.

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Translator: Dewanto Samodro, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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