Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated on Friday that the government is conducting repair of embankments and carrying out weather modification to address the heavy rain-induced flood disaster in Central Java's Demak District.

"Yes, the rainfall here is extreme. Rainfall could be considered extreme when it reaches 150 mm, and the rain here reaches 238 mm. It is indeed extreme," the president stated, as observed from the Presidential Secretariat online channel here.

While visiting flood refugees sheltered at a school in Demak, the president stated that the heavy rain caused several embankments in the region to be breached, as the river overflowed, inundating residential areas.

"The embankment, which suffered a wider breach, the one breached by 15 meters, had been repaired by 1 a.m. earlier this morning after (the workers) toiled for four days, day and night," Jokowi stated.

Apart from repairing the breach, the president revealed that the government's weather modification team is seeking to "shift" the rain clouds northward to the sea to prevent the rain from pouring in Demak District and the surrounding areas.

He also remarked that to expedite flood-handling efforts, the government also deploys water-suction pumping machines to draw out water trapped in flooded areas.

"(The floodwaters) have receded from the earlier two meters deep. We have been informed that the floodwaters have receded to 50 cm in almost all areas," Jokowi noted.

"Regardless, the flood hampers public activities. Hence, we will continue the pumping process," he stated.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that the flooding in Demak District caused damage to six river embankments.

The flooding inundated 89 villages in Demak's 11 sub-districts and affected 24,436 residents. It also cut off access to the main road connecting Demak to the neighboring Kudus District on its east.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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