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Indonesia: Floods in South Kalimantan - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation MDRID021

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Indonesia has high level of precipitation and is prone to flooding during rainy season. According to Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency, areas prone to flooding in Indonesia are approximately 39,371,167 hectares. These areas are inhabited by approximately 100,814,666 people. Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (Indonesian: Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika, abbreviated BMKG) predicted the peak of La Nina would occur across the months of December 2020 and January 2021. The peak of La Nina is coinciding with the peak of the rainy season which usually occurs between January and February. The simultaneous occurrence of these two events has triggered heavy rainfall across the country. Since December 2020 PMI has responded to around 14 different flooding events across several provinces. The most recent event, which commenced on 15 January 2021, has resulted in flooding and landslides in several districts in South Kalimantan province including in Tapin, Hulu Sungai Tengah, Hulu Sungai Utara, Hulu Sungai Selatan, Tanah Laut, Tabalong, Banjar, Banjarbaru, Banjarmasin, Balangan, and Barito Kuala.

Through its disaster monitoring portal - InaRisk, Indonesia’ Disaster Monitoring Agency has listed 13 districts6 in South Kalimantan as moderate-risk and high-risk flood areas. Moreover, Indonesia’s BMKG has also issued flood warnings for the above-mentioned districts. All districts currently affected by flooding are included in the list.

Flooding in Banjar, 12 January 2021

On 12 January 2021, significant heavy rain, which started in the first week of January caused Martapura and Riam rivers to overflow, flooding seven sub-districts in Banjar. As of 19 January, seven sub-districts; Karang Intan, East Martapura, Martapura, Astambul, Sungai Pinang, Pengaron, and Tabuk River were inundated with water level ranging from 20 - 100cm.
Based on PMI Situation Report no. 7 dated 19 January 2021, PMI estimated that 27,368 housing units inundated, and 4 bridges have been destroyed. Approximately 30,778 families and 120,416 people are affected by the floods. Over 32,113 people have been evacuated to several temporary shelters that are using school buildings, village halls, mosques, and a football stadium.A more detailed information regarding current evacuation centres is still unavailable.

Flooding in Tanah Laut, 12 January 2021

In Tanah Laut, on 12 January 2021, heavy rainfall which started in the prior week caused severe flooding. In this region, the ongoing high tide further deteriorates the flooding situation. Flooding impacts nine sub-districts; Pelaihari, Bati-bati,
Kurau, Bumi Makmur, Tambang Ulang, Bajuin, Takisung, Jorong, and Kintap were affected. In some areas the water level reaches 150 - 200cm.
The impacts of flooding in Tanah Laut are severe. About 8,506 houses are inundated. Several public facilities such as schools, places of worship, hospitals, and markets have also been impacted. Several roads are also completely submerged in water, including the Trans Kalimantan Access Route. Approximately 8,870 families and 27,815 people are affected by the floods. There have been 10 reported fatalities as a result of being swept away by current and buried by landslide. So far, 13,062 people have sought safety in several temporary shelters. The displaced persons are taking shelter in school buildings and relatives’ homes.

Flooding in Tapin, 14 January 2021

Excessive rainfall on 14 January caused the flooding to spread to wider areas. Flooding in Tapin Regency was observed at 01:00 local time, occurred in Binuang sub-district, Raya Belanti Village. As of 16 January, 515 households and 1,492 people have been affected. As of 19 January, 328 people have sought safety to temporary shelters.

Flooding in Hulu Sungai Tengah, 14 January 2021

In Hulu Sungai Tengah district, flooding occurred on 13 January 2021, at 23.00 local time. Two sub-districts were inundated, namely Barabai and Hantakan. In some areas, the water level was reaching 200cm. As of 19 January 2021, 16,100 households and 64,400 people have been affected by the floods. There have been 3 reported fatalities in the district. Thus far, 11,200 people have sought safety to temporary shelters.
Flooding in other regions (Balangan, Banjarbaru,Hulu Selatan, and Hulu Sungai Utara), 14 January 2021 In Balangan district, floods occurred because of the overflowing of the Balangan and Pitap Rivers, affecting Tebing Tinggi sub-district (Mayanau Village, Gunung Batu, Sungsum, Ju'uh, Bumbu'an Simpang, Simpang Nadung and Tebing Tinggi), and Awayan sub-district (Putat Basiun Village, Awayan Market, Badalungga, Badalungga Hilir, Pulantan and Muara Jaya). In this district, 3,941 houses inundated and 6,235 families or 19,100 people have been affected.
In Banjarbaru, flooding is caused by high intensity rain which overflowed the Kemuning River. Flooding was observed at around 01:10 local time with a water level of 50 - 90cm. Two sub-districts affected are Kemuning Village (Banjarbaru sub-district) and Guntung Payung Village (Landasan Ulin sub-district). As of 19 January 2021, 2,116 households and 5,752 people have been affected by the flood. There has been one reported fatality.
Flooding also occurred in Hulu Sungai Selatan district, inundated six sub-districts: Loksado, Padang Batung,
Kandangan, Angkinang, Telaga Langsat and Sungai Raya, with water levels reaching 150cm. In this district, 1,000 housing units submerged in water, affecting about 3,138 families and 6,690 people. As of 19 January 2021, the water has receded.
In Hulu Sungai Utara, flooding is caused by high intensity rain which overflowed Balangan and Tabalong rivers, flooding 4 sub-districts. According to PMI’s situation report dated 19 January 2021, 7,865 households and 25,189 people have been affected by the flood. A total of 6,804 housing units were inundated.
As of 19 January 2021, in PMI’s targeted areas approximately 39,874 houses have been inundated. About 56,263 families and 214,123 people are affected by the floods. Indonesia’s meteorological agency has warned that heavy rainfall with thunderstorm and wind is still expected to occur over the next few days in almost all districts in South Kalimantan.
Although this flooding event is only impacting one province, it is impacting over 300,000 people and all districts within the province and has the potential to worsen further in the coming weeks as heavy rains continue. Furthermore, the flood response and evacuation efforts face considerable complications due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Indonesia is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. COVID-19 also poses great risk in South Kalimantan since there have been a total of 16,505 cases detected in the province as of 15 January 2021, with 1,250 active cases.
Due to these complexities the disaster has been classified as a category orange.