Sajira Mekar Village in Banten Crippled by Flooding and Landslides

At least 98 houses, 2 small mosques, and 58 hectares of farmlands were damaged by the flooding and landslide in Sajira Mekar, Lebak Regency. The total material loss is estimated to reach IDR 7 billion.

Trees were uprooted and buildings were damaged by the flash flood that hit Sajira Mekar, Sajira, Banten. The locals have started clearing their houses of the debris. (ACTNews/Akbar)

ACTNews, LEBAK - It was already five in the morning, but it was still too dark. Thick clouds were still clinging above the sky in Sajira Mekar Village, Sajira Subdistrict, Lebak Regency. On Wednesday (1/1) morning, flash floods hit the whole village. The local villagers were already up and doing their activities when the landslide happens. They could all save themselves, and there were no casualties.

 At least 98 houses, 2 small mosques, 1 Islamic boarding school, and 58 hectares of agricultural land were damaged by the flooding in Sajiramekar Village. "The material loss is estimated to reach at least IDR 7 billion. Until now, residents whose homes were damaged have evacuated to their relatives’ houses, "explained Sajira Mekar Village Chief Zaenudin to ACTNews, Saturday (1/4). He said that a number of residents whose houses were badly damaged would be relocated to safer areas.

Located right on the bank of Ciberang River, Sajira Subdistrict was one of the most-severely affected areas by the flash flood earlier in the year. The headwaters of the river in the Mount Halimun Salak National Park overflowed.

Suhadi, a resident of Sajira Mekar Village, said that the flood reached three meter-high. The residents evacuated themselves. "Now, the residents are in need aid like clothes, food, and shelters if possible," hoped Suhadi.

Hartini, a housewife from Sajira Mekar, said that the flood also washed away all of the residents’ belongings. “We lost our belongings such as rice cookers, televisions, and refrigerators," she admitted.

Besides Sajira Subdistrict, floods hit five other subdistricts in Lebak Regency, namely Cipanas, Lebakgedong, Curugbitung, Maja, and Cimarga Subdistricts.

Regional Disaster Mitigation Board (BPBD) of Banten recorded that at least 11,400 people were affected by the flooding in Lebak Regency. Nine people were confirmed dead. 27 bridges were damaged, 520 houses were slightly damaged, 1,310 houses were lightly damaged, and 3 schools were damaged. The government has also declared the emergency response status for Lebak Regency until January 14, 2020. []