Lebak, Banten (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) of Lebak District, Banten Province, evacuated 150 flood survivors trapped in the Cibanung forest after they attempted to flee the flash flood that hit Lebak Gedong Sub-district on January 1.

"All villagers trapped in the forest were evacuated to a refugee camp in Banjar Irigasi Village and Ciuyah Village," Haryono, head of PMI of Lebak District, stated here on Thursday.

The condition of villagers of Cigobang Kampong, Banjarsari Village, is far from good, with some of them falling ill, as they were facing food shortages in the forest.

"We evacuate the villagers of Cigobang, with the help of Basarnas (the National Search and Rescue Agency) as well as the police and military personnel," he stated, adding that the evacuees included children and the elderly.

The PMI has deployed 22 personnel to help evacuate victims in residential areas that were isolated after the flash flood and landslide struck the region.

"We have deployed PMI members to Lebak Gedong Sub-district to disburse relief aid to refugee camps," he noted.

The flooding that struck Lebak District, triggered by the overflowing of Ciberang River on the downstream of the Mount Halimun Salak National Park, claimed 10 lives in Lebak Gedong Sub-district and severely damaged 1,060 houses, 28 bridges, and 19 schools.

The disaster compelled 17,200 residents to seek refuge.

Torrential rains, lashing overnight since Tuesday (Dec 31, 2019) evening, triggered the Ciberang River to overflow, carrying along with it stones and mud and hit residential areas on the banks of the river.

BNPB Chief Doni Monardo stated that massive gold mines in the area of Mount Halimun Salak National Park were causal to the flash flood.

Saprudin, a resident of Cigobang, Banjarsari Village, expressed relief over the fact that his family was able to receive adequate meals and health services after spending nippy days in the forest.

When the flash flood hit the village, some residents had fled to the forest while some to other locations.

"My family has yet to think about returning home, as we are certain that our house was destroyed (by the flood)," Saprudin added. Related news: Helicopter deployed to disburse vital aid to Lebak flood survivors
Related news: Flash flood claims eight lives in Lebak: BNPB


Translator: Mansyur Suryana, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2020