ACTNews, BOGOR REGENCY - Manta could only stand and watch as the rescuers were trying to find the missing victims following the landslide in Sinar Harapan Hamlet, Harkat Jaya Village, Sukajaya Subdistrict, Bogor, Monday (1/6). Holding an umbrella to protect himself from the light rain that was falling that morning, Manta could not do much. He was not allowed to participate in the search for victims because the soil was still unstable.
The rain continued to poured that day, but Manta’s hope never dampened. From a distance, he watched as the rescue team combed through thick mud to find the missing victims, one of them is Cici Handayani, Manta's niece. "I hope Cici will be found soon," hoped Manta.
Sinar Harapan hamlet was one of the neighborhoods that were severely affected by the landslides in early January 2020. The towering hill behind the village collapsed and buried several houses and rice fields. What remains now looks like a wide river.
Residents who live in the village have now left their homes. There isn't even a single person left in the village right now. They chose to evacuate to Banar 3 Public Elementary School for fear of greater subsequent landslides. Dozens of other houses sustained severe damages due to the landslide.
Right after the landslide, Sinar Harapan Hamlet was isolated because the only way in and out of the Hamlet was buried by thick mud and dirt. Banar Hamlet, located just below Sinar Harapan Hamlet was hit by flash flood due to the overflowing of the Cidurian River that flows through the hamlet.
The Joint SAR Team conducted a search for victims who were still missing in Sinar Harapan Hamlet, Harkat Jaya Village, Sukajaya, Bogor Regency. (ACTNews)
Now, Sinar Harapan has been deserted. Hundreds of houses that were still standing were left empty by the owners who chose to evacuate. Asep was one of them. He brought his entire family to live in Banar 3 elementary school. He was too traumatized to return home. "I don't know when I can go back home. If possible, I wish for a relocation," said Asep to ACTNews, Monday (6/1).
The landslide in Sinar Harapan hamlet was quite destructive. The heavy rain that fell on the New Year’s Eve had caused the collapse of the hill behind the hamlet, damaging houses and rice fields.
The Disaster Emergency Response (DER) Team - ACT had searched for the missing victims for five days as part of the joint rescue team. They use high pressure water stream to get rid of the mud. However, due to the rain that continued to fall, the search was stopped for fear of another landslide that could endanger the team.
Choirul Sani from Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Central Java who joined the SAR team in Sinar Harapan said that the main obstacle in finding the victims was the unfavorable weather and the potential of a subsequent landslide. The thick mud and the extensive search area also made it difficult to find the missing victims. "The team here consists of various elements of the community as well as volunteers," he explained.