While the world welcomed the New Year on the evening of December 31, 2019, citizens of Jakarta, Indonesia braced themselves for torrential rains and severe flooding as monsoons and rising rivers submerged the Indonesian capital affecting the population of over 30 million people.
Local authorities initiated a city wide evacuation as landslides and electrocutions continued to raise the death toll. According to reports, 53 people were confirmed dead and many more were reported missing. 113,000 families were forced to evacuate in the city of Jakarta affecting over 400,000 individuals.
Massive flooding in Jakarta caused primary modes of transportation and airports to close after water surges reached a level of 3 meters (10 feet high) in several areas within the city. Landslides were also reported in the areas of Bogor, West Java Province; Tangerang and Lebak, Banten Province.
Indonesia’s electricity utility provider switched off power supply to avoid further electrocutions in areas submerged in water. Road blocks and communication issues were also hurdles as the Indonesian government implemented rescue operations in areas highly affected by the flooding.
Adventists in Jakarta were also affected by the devastation caused by the recent flooding. “It has been raining for almost five days now” said David Panjaitan, communication director for the Adventist Church in West Indonesia in a text message. “We receive reports that there are Adventist families and churches who were greatly affected by the flooding. We will be having initial assessment regarding the situation and identify how we can best help our brethren.”
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Indonesia emergency response teams conducted rapid assessments immediately to provide help to families affected by the flood. ADRA volunteers responded to 300 families in Bekasi City by providing ready to eat food. They are preparing for more packages to be distributed in other affected areas. Bekasi City is one of the cities greatly affected by the massive flooding with more than 10,000 displaced individuals.
ADRA Indonesia coordinates closely with the local government unit to identify best ways to assist in the situation and provide needs to the affected families.
“Initial assessment identifies ready to eat food, emergency shelter repair kits, beddings, and medicines as necessities to be distributed to displaced families,” said Ralfie Maringka, ADRA Indonesia Marketing Officer and Emergency Responder. “There are thousands of people affected out there and we need to find the best ways that we can to extend immediate response to those displaced,” Maringka added.
ADRA is the global humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. ADRA responds to relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 130 countries. It aims to provide long term development programs and immediate emergency response to communities through a network of global offices.
The Seventh-day Adventist church in the Southern Asia-Pacific region is requesting prayers for everyone in Jakarta.