Batu City, E Java (ANTARA) - Some 1,750 joint personnel, including volunteers, were deployed to assist in handling the aftermath of the flash floods that struck six areas in Batu City, East Java Province.

Deputy Mayor of Batu Punjul Santoso stated here on Saturday that the joint personnel deployed were clearing up the remaining debris and materials ravaged by the disaster.

Santoso, concurrently head of the Batu City Flash Flood Emergency Response Team, informed that the joint team comprised 750 military personnel, 450 police personnel, and 40 Public Order Security Agency (Satpol PP) personnel.

In addition, 60 personnel from the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), 50 personnel from the emergency response unit (Tagana), 20 personnel from the Disaster Risk Mitigation Forum (FPRB), and approximately 180 volunteers were also part of the endeavor.

"We will continue to clear the materials and repair the damage," Santoso affirmed.

Furthermore, he noted that several roads, earlier cut off due to the thick mud, had been cleared now, to facilitate vehicular movement.

The disaster struck in Batu City on Thursday at approximately 2 p.m. Western Indonesia Standard Time that caused extensive damage at several locations in the city and also its neighboring region, Malang City.

Six villages in Batu City -- Sidomulyo, Bulukerto, Sumber Brantas, Bumiaji, Tulungrejo, and Punten -- were destroyed.

Meanwhile, in Malang City, the areas of Jatimulyo, Kampung Putih, Samaan, and Kota Lama were also affected by the disaster.

According to the Batu deputy mayor and Malang City BPBD, the flash floods claimed seven lives in Batu City as well as drove hundreds of residents to take shelter and destroyed hundreds of houses in both cities.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) stated that the disaster was caused by heavy rainfall, with 80.3-millimeter intensity, thereby resulting in some 90-centimeter (cm)-deep waters to flood the houses.

The BMKG has forecast extreme weather conditions in the next week in the East Java region.

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Translator: Vicki Febrianto, Uyu Liman
Editor: Sri Haryati
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