Weather warnings have been issued across Bali for the next two days, with an extension likely. While it is common for weather warnings to be issued throughout the rainy season in Bali, they should not be ignored. The weather warnings have been issued by the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), who are urging the public to be diligent as chances of heavy rains, strong winds, and high waves at sea are all heightened until 15th February. Heavy rains are forecast across Bali until 20th February.
The Head of the Center for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics for Denpasar, Cahyo Nugroho, told reporters, “BMKG’s advice, the public is asked to remain vigilant and careful about the impacts that can be caused by extreme weather such as floods, puddles, landslides, strong winds, fallen trees, and lightning.”
Nugroho told reporters that forecasts predict high waves at Bali’s popular tourist beaches, including Nusa Dua, Kuta, and Tanah Lot. Sanur Beach is also included in the warning list. He urged tourism leaders, fishermen, and tourists to be aware that waves could reach over 2m in height and that conditions at sea will be rough for the next few days.
Further inland, weather warnings for heavy rain and storms are in place in Ubud and Kintamani. The news of the weather warnings for this week comes as communities across Bali are only just regathering themselves after devastating flash flooding events late last week and over the weekend.
On Saturday, heavy rain fell for over 4-hours in Penyaringan Village, Mendoyo District, Jembrana Regency. This led to the Biluk Poh Bridge collapsing for the second time in recent months. The original bridge collapsed in October 2022 following another flash flooding event. The current Biluk Poh Bridge was a temporary structure designed to keep traffic flowing while the main bridge undergoes reconstruction. However, on Saturday evening, the river once again burst its banks and took the temporary bridge with it.
Speaking to reporters, I Made Dresta from the Disaster Management Agency explained, “Fortunately, there were no victims. When the road was already eroded by the floods, the residents had banned vehicles from passing”. Though there were no casualties, the community is now left in a tricky situation. The temporary bridge had been being mended on a nearly daily basis before its collapse. It is clear that a new solution is needed.
Dresta continued, “But now there is no hope anymore. To backfill it is no longer possible because of the condition of the river body, which has widened. So if we fill it up again, it will definitely break again. Earlier, we also had a meeting with village leaders, and the result was that they were no longer able to do self-help.”
The community must now coordinate with regency and provincial government departments to repair the road. Data from the Jembrana Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) reveals that the flash flooding in Jembrana on Saturday night affected dozens of family homes.
A similar tragedy hit communities in Buleleng Regency on Saturday evening. Flash flooding submerged dozens of family homes in Kalibukbuk Village and Banyupoh Village. The flooding also destroyed three shrines at Taman Tirta Sudamala Belatung Temple. Community members told reporters that they had been warned that something bad was going to happen as a 19-year-old from the village had experienced two nightmares in the week before the flood. In the dreams, just two nights before the flood, he saw Taman Tirta Sudamala Temple submerged in the ocean.
60-year-old Ketut Nita, from Banyupoh Village, was the worst affected by the flash flood. His house and workshop is located right on the river banks and were entirely swept away by the rising water. He told reporters, “The water was very big. My wife and children immediately ran to the garden, which is at a higher position. The river water rises about 1 meter more, this is a big growth like this [gestures hands]. I was trapped too, because the access road was filled with water, and I couldn’t go anywhere.”
One local farmer, Nengah Sumerta, 65, was feeding his pigs when the flood waters gushed through his property. He explained, “I was surprised when I fed the pigs, suddenly water entered the garden and immediately grew big. There were also a lot of wooden branches. I was scared and finally ran to the main road”. The Village Head, Ketut Bijaksana, told reporters that 54 homes had been affected and that community leaders are collecting data to submit to the BPBD in Buleleng for further support.
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