More Early Warning Systems After Floods


With the rainy season getting underway more flash floods hit Bali at the weekend, with damage caused to properties in Jembrana on Sunday.

Torrential downpours at dawn saw homes in Yeh Embang Kauh inundated. A house belonging to local man Ketut Wita was completely destroyed. In nearby Penyarinagan two other properties were damaged by flooding.

Ketut Metra, 69, the owner of one of the affected houses, said he had been lucky to escape.

“The water swept me, my wife and one of my children away. Luckily, we were able to grab a trunk of a tree and did not let go,” he said, adding that he had suffered only minor injuries.

There was also a landslide triggered by the rain on the outskirts of Sekar Kejula hamlet.

Meanwhile, Badung government announced that floods on November 8 had led to total damages of around Rp1.4 billion (US$155,700). The Denpasar municipality suffered losses of Rp5.2 billion during the same floods.

“The losses were mostly in the form of damage to infrastructure and public facilities,” said Denpasar government spokesman Dewa Gede Rai.

Rai said the major damages were those caused to the Mandala Wangi bridge connecting Jl Biak and Jl Nusa Kambangan.

“The bridge, which was built in 1993 as a joint project by the army and the local community, was cut at one end by the flooding,” he said, adding that there had also been damage to several school buildings in the city.

He said a total of 995 Denpasar residents were displaced by the November 8 floods, though he added that most of them were able to return home later that day as the waters receded.

Head of the Denpasar disaster management agency (BPPLD) I Made Sudhana Satrigraha said two early warning systems recently installed on the Tukad Badung and Tukad Mati rivers had worked during the floods, but that more such systems needed to be installed across the city.

“Last month, we installed one unit in Tukad Badung, near Peken Badung, the island’s largest traditional market, and another one on the Tukad Mati, near Demak temple,” he said, adding that warning lights and sirens had sounded as waters rose on November 8, alerting local residents to the danger.

However, Satrigraha said more warning units were needed so that a larger number of people living near rivers would be within range.

“That’s why we will install more units to gradually establish an extensive network of flood warning systems across the city,” he said.

He said at least two more units would be added before the end of the year. Each unit costs an estimated Rp100 million.

“We will coordinate with the public works agency to determine the best places to install the units. Those places should maximise the units’ ability to alert and save human lives,” he said.

More units are expected to be added in 2012.

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