Jakarta (ANTARA) - The repair of breached river embankments and the utilization of weather modification technology (TMC) are crucial to managing flooding in Demak district, Central Java, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.

At least 4,000 houses in Demak have been inundated since February 5 after the Wulan River embankment leaked, cutting off access to the main road connecting Demak to Kudus.

"There is an urgent need to repair the embankments and utilize TMC to overcome leaking water that has been flooding rice fields, public facilities, and residences, forcing around 21,000 people to take refuge," BNPB Head, Suharyanto, said in a statement on Tuesday.

He stated that BNPB has been coordinating with the Central Java Disaster Mitigation Office (BPBD) to prepare for weather modification, which will involve sowing salt in rain clouds in flood-affected areas.

According to the BNPB's analysis, weather modification has proven effective in reducing rainfall intensity by 30–40 percent, he informed.

He also explained that controlling rainfall is necessary to hasten repair work on the breached embankment by enabling local authorities to make the floodwater subside faster using pump machines.

Suharyanto stated that the BNPB and the Demak district government have been coordinating with the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry to expedite the repair of leakages in the embankment.

"We are focusing the work on a tertiary embankment in Ngemplik Wetan village, Karanganyar. After patching the embankment, we will use water-suctioning machines to deliver the water back to the river," he remarked.

He assured that the government is providing refugees with sufficient supplies of basic necessities, such as food and medical supplies. The BNPB disbursed Rp1.15 billion (around US$73,800) in aid to local authorities.

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Translator: M. Riezko, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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