TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Environment and Forestry Ministry (KLHK) confirmed that South Kalimantan floods were attributable to weather anomalies in the form of extremely high intensity of rainfall for five consecutive days, January 9-13, 2021.
“The rain intensity increases by 8-9 times compared to normal downpour,” said the Director-General of Pollution and Environmental Damage Control, Karliansyah, in a written statement here on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Karliansyah explained that the water volume in the Barito River reached 2.08 billion cubic meters, exceeding the river’s normal capacity of 238 million cubic meters.
Floods hit 10 districts and cities of South Kalimantan. As of Sunday, Jan. 17, at least 24,000 houses were inundated and more than 35,000 residents were evacuated, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
Karliansyah reiterated that the flooding was not due to the declining forest cover in the Barito watershed area. He clarified that the Barito watershed area in South Kalimantan of 1.8 million hectares is only part of the Barito watershed area across the province totaling 6.2 million hectares.
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited the affected areas of the South Kalimantan floods. He stated that the flood was the biggest in the past 50 years following heavy downpour for almost 10 consecutive days.