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Landslides, Flash Floods, and Volcano Eruptions Disasters: East Flores Communities Need Your Help

Tropical Cyclone caused rainstorms in several places of Indonesia and severely hit East Nusa Tenggara Province. This phenomenon becomes more serious after flash flooding and landslides happened in Lembata and Adonara islands. Experts claim those disasters occur due to deforestation. This activity weakens the soil holding capacity and is exacerbated by increasing the intensity of rain. This deforestation activity is carried out by parties outside the village; however, its impact is felt directly by local communities.

 

Flash floods were damaging the residential area in Ile Ape, Lembata (Photo: BARAKAT)

 

 

Some of the worst situations happened on Lembata Island. In addition to continuous rainstorms that happen at 11 am on the 3rd of April and the volcanic status of Ile Lewotolok increased to level three of alert, the community started being alert. At 1 am, the rainstorms become even harder, then the community decided to evacuate in the shelter points/places. However, those shelter is intended to be the evacuation point in the case of volcano eruption, not for other disasters such as rainstorms or flash flood. Unexpectedly, flash floods and cold lava were emerging from the mountain and flowing through the mountain slopes of Mt.Ile Lewotolok (Volcano).

 

 

Buildings were destroyed after flash floods and volcano eruption of the Ile Lewotolok mountain (Photo: BARAKAT)

 

 

At the same time, rainstorms happened on Adonara island, which also caused flash flooding and landslides. On April 5, 2021, rescuers recovered 38 bodies and at least five people were injured.

 

 

Village in Adonara that covered after landslides (Photo: BARAKAT)

 

  

Those disasters were devastating all residential areas and fatalities in 6 villages of Lembata and Adonara Island: Nelelamadike, Waiburak, Oyang Barang, Pandai, Waiwadan, and Duwanur. On April 7, 2021, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) releases updated information about the casualties and affected victims of those disasters.

  

 

 

People Affected

No.

Total

Status

1.

86 people

Death

2.

149 people

Injury

3.

98 people

Missing

4.

2.683 family

Impacted

Source: National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on April 7, 2021.

 

 

Besides casualties, these disasters also resulted in materials loss more than Rp. 24.409.100.000. More than a hundred houses were impacted. Then, damages happen in several infrastructures, such as bridges, roads between Koli-Manggaleng and Waiwadan-Fanibao. Infrastructure loss also obstructs the evacuation process and emergency response.

 

 

 

Materials Damages

No.

Territory

Unit

Information

1.

 Lembata District

(Lembata Island)

224

Badly damaged house

75

Moderately damaged house

16

Lightly damaged house

15

Bridges

2.

Flores Timur Districts

(Adonara Island)

82

Badly damaged house

34

Moderately damaged house

97

Lightly damaged house

8

Badly damaged infrastructure

Source: National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), on April 7, 2021

 

 

Gaps to Fill in

 

The disasters made some of the bridges broken which caused all of the access for the villages were closed. There are 13 isolated villages, that is Tanjung Batu, Amakaka, Lamawara, Tanjung Batu, Bunga Muda, Napasabok, Lamagute, Waimatan, Aulesa, Lamaau, Bao Lali Duli, Lamatokan, and Lamawolo. Six of them were affected by flash floods, landslides, and cold lava (mudflow/debris from eruption).

 

 

Benenian Bridge, one of the broken bridges that causes all of the access was closed in East Nusa Tenggara (Photo: Frans Nahak II)

 

 

All of the damaged buildings and closed access make the community in each village can’t fulfill their basic needs. In the middle of sadness and gripping situations, the community needs to survive with everything that is lacking. Undeniably, fear of the people there came from the subsequent flash floods or eruptions that will appear anytime. But hope stills there, which makes the local community still survive, help each other, and work together to protect one another. 

 

 

Until now, the local community still survives with support from local NGOs. IDEP with local partners YPPS (Social Research and Development Foundation) and BARAKAT (Lembata Community Development Institution) currently on the field are conducting emergency response in Adonara and Lembata, from working with first responders on search and rescue, provision of basic needs, and supporting evacuations of the affected communities. (Gd)

 
 
 

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