Wahyoe Boedwardhana and Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Situbondo, Kupang
The death toll from major flooding in the East Java city of Situbondo rose to 10 on Sunday, as authorities scrambled to assist victims and reroute traffic around the affected area.
Rain-triggered flooding has damaged Parengian Bridge in Panarukan district, about 4 kilometers from downtown Situbondo, paralyzing land transportation between the provincial capital Surabaya and Banyuwangi.
In addition to the 10 confirmed dead, one person is reported missing. About 1,700 houses have been destroyed and another 1,400 houses have suffered damage.
The dead have been identified as Akhma, 75; Amin Kholik, 55; Mahya, 65; Joyo, 70; Siya, 70; Sumo, 70; Misraya, 50; Jumadi, 65; Nasipah, 50; and Marwiyah, 50.
"The missing person has been identified as Imam, 60, Marwiyah's husband. He is said to have been swept away during the flooding," Solichin, head of the Situbondo Health Office, said.
Days of torrential rain caused the Sampeyan River, which runs through the heart of Situbondo, to burst its banks, causing massive flooding over the weekend.
The damage to Parengian Bridge, which was built in 1990, has forced officials to detour traffic between Surabaya and Banyuwangi to the south, through Probolinggo and Jember, the head of the East Java chapter of the Land Transportation Owners Association, Mustafa, said Sunday.
Mustafa said the detour forced drivers to travel an additional 80 kilometers. At least 200 buses pass through Situbondo on normal days, he said.
"The damaged sections of the bridge are being filled with sand and stone. Hopefully by tomorrow everything will be back to normal," said Yoyok Mulyadi, head of the Situbondo Public Works Office.
Most flood victims said they had yet to receive any assistance from the local administration. Many victims have been reduced to standing on the side of the road asking for handouts.
"We haven't gotten any help since yesterday. I need money to buy food as I haven't eaten since last night. All our belongings were swept away by the flood," said 9-year-old Tri Sutrisno.
In East Nusa Tenggara, four people have died in flooding caused by days of heavy rain.
Ten houses and nearly 1,000 hectares of paddy in the regencies of North Timor Tengah, Sikka, Kupang, Nagekeo and Belu have also been damaged, according to the local disaster mitigation office.
"The four victims were swept away when several nearby rivers overflowed," disaster office secretary Sentianus Medi said.
The four victims have been identified as Imelda Wea and Ros Firgina, both residents of Boawae district in Nagekeo; Marsina Bute, a resident of Tanowawo district in Sikka; and Lusia Iri, a resident of Wulanggitang district in East Flores.
Karel Yani Mbuik, a member of the East Nusa Tenggara Legislative Council, said deforestation on surrounding mountains played a role in the floods.
"The local administration has to speed up reforestation on the mountains and intensify supervision to prevent residents from illegally cutting down trees," he said.