Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo has yet to issue an emergency alert status in response to the flooding and landslides that struck 16 of the province’s regencies and municipalities over the weekend.
On alert – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo speaks to representatives of a customary community at the governor’s office in Semarang recently. (thejakartapost.com/Suherdjoko)
Temporary data reveal that 24 people were killed in landslides caused by torrential rain in several areas across Central Java beginning on Saturday. The areas worst hit include Banjarnegara, Banyumas, Karanganyar, Kebumen, Purworejo, Surakarta and Sukoharjo.
Ganjar said on Sunday that his administration had not yet decided to increase the emergency alert status of the natural disasters. “If the flooding has not receded by [Monday], we will evaluate the status,” he said in Surakarta, where he was supervising relief efforts for those affected by flooding.
The added that the Central Java administration, together with the Central Java Disaster Mitigation Agencies (BPBD), was prioritizing the evacuation and handling of refugees, assuring reporters and residents that supplies were sufficient to cater to all those who needed them.
“If there is a lack of supplies, regents and mayors will directly coordinate with us,” Ganjar said, after visits to some of the worst-hit villages, including Demangan, Jaten and Ngeringo.
Visiting the Bengawan Solo River, Ganjar registered shock that there was no clear distinction between the river’s surface and town settlements, the river having burst its bank and inundated a number of areas.
Ganjar expressed hope that all residents who insisted on remaining in their homes could be quickly evacuated if rain continued to fall and further flooding occurred.
To anticipate similar incidents in the future, the governor said the administration had coordinated with the Bengawan Solo River Management Agency to build a green belt along the river.
“For the time being, we are preparing public kitchens and other facilities for refugees.”