Thousands of houses in Jambi flooded during new year celebrations

"The cost of damage is estimated at Rp500 million."
Jambi city (ANTARA News) - Floods triggered by heavy rainfall inundated at least 1,077 houses in Merangin regency, Jambi province, during the year-end celebrations.

"Some areas have been flooded since December 29. However, during the New Year celebrations, at 1am (local time), hundreds of more houses were inundated," the head of Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency of Merangin, Afrizal, said on the phone on Tuesday.

Afrizal stated that at least three sub-districts in Meranti were inundated, with floodwaters reaching a height of 1-2 metres.

As many as 86 houses have been flooded, with three of them being heavily damaged, in Sai Semayo, Tabir subdistrict. Meanwhile, 427 houses have been inundated in Tanjung Ilir village and 39 in Ulak Makan village. The floodwaters have also submerged the local cemetery.

Meanwhile, 139 houses, one public school building, two public health centres and two madrasahs (Islamic schools) in Margo Tabir sub-district were also flooded.

Floodwaters have also inundated 315 houses, two public school buildings and a mosque in Sai Limau village.

"The cost of damage is estimated at Rp500 million," Afrizal said.

Moreover, the flood is also estimated to have inundated hundreds of hectares of farming and plantation areas.

"We have deployed mitigation teams to assist the SAR (Search and Rescue), police and the Indonesian Military in helping the victims," Afrizal stated.

"Heavy rainfall in the region caused some rivers to overflow, which led to the floods," he explained.

Previously, in early December, some 2,400 houses in five sub-districts of Merangin had been hit by floods.

However, the year-end flood was the worst seen in Merangin over the past two months. Two persons were reported missing due to the disaster.

According to Disaster Mitigation Agency of Jambi, the floods have affected most regencies of Jambi, including Kerinci, Sorolangun, Merangin, Bungo, Batanghari, Tebo, Kota Jambi and Muarojambi.

The worst of the floods hit the region on December 25, inundating at least 5,000 houses.

According to local environmental activists, the floods were a result of excessive forest exploitation, especially at the Batanghari river`s headwater which serves as a water absorption area.