On March 16, flash floods and mudslides hit the eastern Indonesian province of Papua near the subdistrict of Jayapura. Reports are the flood waters left at least 104 dead, 60 missing, 74 injured and displaced more than 4,000 people. Over 350 houses and two main bridges are also reportedly damaged. Additionally, more than 11,700 households in total are affected.
With roadways underwater, getting to communities affected has delayed ADRA aid workers. Currently, ADRA staff and volunteers in local areas have been mobilized to conduct a market survey of available goods and prices.
“The flash floods occurred at night when most of the residents were asleep,” says Ralfie Maringka, emergency response coordinator for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Indonesia, a local resident in the country who was deployed on March 17 to help coordinate efforts. “As of now, we are assessing what people’s needs are in the hardest hit areas of Sentani, Japapura, the capital city of Papua Province."
Access to clean water and sanitation, shelter and food are likely to be the most dire needs across the country. The wide-spread flooding may also lead to food shortages in the coming months. It remains unclear how much damage may have been sustained.
"Listening to the people’s needs instead of our own judgment is our priority to helping those greatly affected in this crisis," Maringka said.
More information will be available as it is provided.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.