Dear Atma Community,
My belongings were destroyed during the flooding that struck Jakarta on the first day of the new year. This has been some of the worst flooding we’ve seen, and has been devastating for local residents and for the Atma Connect team in the area. Heavy rains struck and continued to flood over 308 villages over 15 hours, mainly in the Greater Jakarta Area, West Java, and Banten Provinces. Based on data from the National Disaster Management Agency, the floods submerged 308 villages, with water levels of up to six meters, and claimed the lives of 66 people. Over 92,000 people were displaced and evacuated to 189 shelters. The floods also affected public infrastructure and public service buildings such as schools, bridges, and traditional markets, as you can see through posts on AtmaGo.
I don’t only want to update you on the crisis the floods have caused, I also want to lift up the direct impact that AtmaGo is having to help people prepare and recover. Through the mobile app, people received critical early warnings about the flooding. AtmaGo delivered over 200 alerts on the floods that reached over 30,000 residents in 74 districts. In over 100 user generated posts during this period, AtmaGo users were helping one another by sharing real time updates, warning each other about damaged infrastructure and flooded areas, sharing preparedness information, and communicating the location of aid and shelters. People used AtmaGo to ask for help, warn others, and seek moral support.
“Our neighborhood usually floods every year, so we got used to it. But this year it was so big, we never experienced anything like this before,” said Muhammad Jaenudin, an AtmaGo user in East Jakarta. His neighborhood was severely affected by the flood, and is working to secure clothing, food, medical supplies and also inflatable vests, to prepare for additional flooding that could occur during this year’s rainy season, which has just begun.
He posted photos of the flooding on AtmaGo. You can see through the photos that the water height reached 4.42 feet. The flood had a strong current which made it dangerous for those who attempted to walk through the water. For safety reasons, the power company turned off the grids in flood-affected areas starting at 7 am on Jan 1. Most of Muhammad’s neighbors had evacuated to safer places, but all were affected.
The Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), one of Atma’s partners, is using AtmaGo to share their flooding response efforts. They dropped aid supplies and evacuated victims in Lebak, Banten and Sukajaya, Bogor (both locations in West Java Province) using a helicopter because that was the only way they could reach the area. PMI also provided ambulance services and set up communal kitchens to help flood victims in other areas.
Since the flood, the Jakarta Provincial Government and local communities are working together to clean up mud, garbage, and debris. So far communal cleanups have taken place in 390 villages, involving 800 civil servants and 12,000 sanitation workers. In addition, 1,400 garbage trucks, 20 heavy equipment vehicles, 50 road sweepers, and 100 pick-up trucks were also deployed to support the effort. Similar activities also took place in areas such as Lebak, Tangerang, and Bekasi. These post-disaster activities are ongoing because the floods have caused other issues such as excessive garbage and debris, damaged public facilities and infrastructure, as well as public health issues like diarrhea, typhoid, dengue, and skin and respiratory infections.
Atma is on the ground, connecting residents, sponsoring recovery activities, and building resilience. Thank you again for your support in building neighbor to neighbor resilience in the most vulnerable communities – we could not do this without you.
Indonesia Field Director, Atma Connect
P.S. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to find out more about our work on the flooding in Jakarta and the disaster in Puerto Rico. If you’d like, donate to support this work. Thank you again.