Flooding in Bali’s Seminyak area of Badung Regency stranded local and foreign tourists in their villas Friday October 7th to Saturday, October 8th, triggering numerous calls to the Denpasar Search and Rescue Office.
33 tourists, including 23 foreigners and 10 Indonesian citizens, were evacuated; all 33 are safe and sound, and the flooding in Bali has died down.
Among the group of 23 foreigners, there were six children under the age of five.
Tourists in the Seminyak area were not the only ones rescued; residents of the Pura Demak and Jalan Bung Tomo districts of Denpasar City were also unable to leave their homes.
Another 50 villagers were rescued by SAR officials, and a body was discovered near Jalan Bung Tomo in Denpasar.
The ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet) reports that floods have affected up to 5,465 people in Palopo City (South Sulawesi), about 1,490 persons in Palembang City (South Sumatra), and 1,040 people in Lhokseumawe City (Aceh).
The flooding in Bali was mostly caused by the severe rainfall that was brought on by the warming seas surrounding Indonesia. However, there are also numerous rivers and drainages in the Denpasar area that are clogged with trash, making them vulnerable to flooding. Not to mention land-use changes upstream, river sedimentation and deforestation.
Between 2010 and 2021, almost 10,000 floods hit Indonesia, killing 2,394 people and costing the economy an average of 22.8 trillion Rupiah (about $1.5 billion).
More natural catastrophes, particularly floods, are on the horizon due to the region’s position at the intersection of the Eurasian, Indian, and Australian tectonic plates with the Pacific one.
In 2021, 324 of Indonesia’s districts and cities had a high flood risk, 69 had a medium risk, and only three had a low risk, according to data from the country’s Disaster Risk Index.
Flooding in Bali & Disaster Prevention
When protecting against natural disasters like floods, droughts, or volcanic eruptions, early warning systems are critical.
As part of the 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, representatives from 184 countries met in Bali to discuss the state of preparations to safeguard populations from a growing number of climate hazards and other global catastrophes.
“Early warning systems should be inclusive of communities most at risk with adequate institutional, financial and human capacity to act on early warnings,” said the co-chairs’ summary.
Planning a region’s physical layout is the first step in disaster prevention. However, due to economic pressures, Indonesians’ reactions to incorporating disaster information into spatial planning have been conflicted.
Helping communities in flood-prone areas of Bali prepare for catastrophic floods requires a number of measures, including advanced flood warnings, standard operating procedures (SOPs), early warning systems, socialization, education, and mapping of evacuation routes and safe places.
Although flood early warning systems are in place in many parts of Indonesia, they are not always reliable because of factors such as poor flood information early warnings, disconnected flood early warning and waterway monitoring systems, people’s inability to act on this information, and people’s lack of knowledge about the risks associated with flooding.
If a community wants to be strong in the face of disasters, it needs to know how to prepare for and recover from them. This education needs to start early, both at home and in the classroom.
Still, until recently, Indonesia didn’t have a complete disaster preparedness curriculum that could be used to require or guide teaching in all of the country’s formal and informal educational settings. It has only been used in a few places here and there.
A more resilient and less vulnerable nation may be achieved via disaster education in the face of increasing flood hazards.