Emergency meetings have been held by leaders and communities across Bali as the impacts of this week’s bad weather continue to worsen. Reports of flooding, landslides, and fallings trees have dominated local headlines this week. Families have lost their homes, people have been injured in weather events, and sadly several local people have lost their lives.
In Giyanar Regency (Ubud), the Head of Emergency and Logistics BPBD Gianyar, I Gusti Ngurah Dibya Prasest, called an urgent meeting to urge citizens to remain vigilant as the heavy rains connote into the weekend. Initial weather warnings from the Center for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BBMKG) in Denpasar warned people in Bali about bad weather forecasts through the 15th of October. Through the weekend and into next week, the BBMKG has forecast more heavy rains and storms.
Although Bali experiences an annual rainy season, the downpours have started early this year and are causing more destruction than usual. Prasest told those in the meeting, ‘We have only started the rainy season for a few days. We have received dozens of reports of fallen trees and landslides’. He reiterated that communities should clear gutters and blocked waterways when it is safe to do so. Trees liable to fall should be cut down and dangerous branches trimmed.
In the case of potential landslides in Giyanar, Prasest explained that the Regency Disaster Management team is on standby with excavators and chainsaws and coordinated with the Fire Department to spray mud to secure ridges and banks if necessary.
In Jembrana Regency, flooding has affected housing and public facilities. Heavy rains on Thursday, 13th October, lead to severe flooding across ten different areas of the regency. A total of 97 houses were flooded during the heavy downpour from 2 am to 6 am. A further 43 homes were flooded in Baluk Village alone.
The Head of Emergency and Logistics for the Jembrana BPBD, I Made Sapta Budiarta, told the press that his teams received reports that ten villages had flooded and responded accordingly. He suggested, however, that more incidences of flooding in the regency went unreported to the Disaster Management Agency and were dealt with by village leaders.
He told reporters that floods had ruined residents’ homes, prayer facilities, and a local elementary school. He said ‘in addition to high rainfall, flooding also occurs because there is a narrowing of drainage. So that water overflows onto the road and inundates a number of residents’ houses. Especially houses on a lower land than the road’. An investigation remains ongoing to establish the extent of the damage caused by the floods, but he confirmed that the water had begun to recede.
Budiarta told local newspapers that evacuation missions had been deployed to recuse residents stuck in a school building. Jembrana BPBD deployed rubber boats to rescue students and teachers. He explained, ‘We sent rubber boats there at the request of the Head of the Environment Agency. Our residents helped pass the flood with rubber boats. Incidentally, in the flooded area there, there were several students and teachers who were going to school’.
The Head of Education for Jembrana Regency, I Gusti Putu, confirmed that local schools remain closed, stating, ‘Online learning was carried out. We gave this policy because the school area was flooded instead of endangering students. But this afternoon, the flood in schools has begun to recede. It is possible tomorrow to return to school’.
In Tabanan, Regency Search and Rescue teams are entering their fifth day of a search operation to find missing Ni Luh Gede Puspasari. The 19-year-old went missing from Tukad Yeh Ho. It is believed the Mahasaraswati University student was dragged into the flow of the Yeh Ho River by flood water. Search and Rescue teams continue to search along the river and out into the oceans.
Teams are scouring the waters from Tibubiu Beach to Beraban Beach for any sign of the student. According to protocol, the search and rescue team will continue their search until sundown on the seventh day, where they will stop the search unless evidence is found that may lead them to Puspasari’s location.
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