Flash floods cause havoc in East Java

Checking the current news I see the area around Jember in East Java has been hit with flash floods. The latest count is 57 dead. I’ve met people from Jember and at the top of the Sunset Rd here in Seminyak there is a road side warung advertising food from Jember.

Western Indonesia gets a lot more rain than the eastern side. Sumatra and Jakarta have a higher rainfall than Bali. Java is extrememly heaviliy populated and that, combined with low quality construction, means a high death toll in the event of a landslide / flash flood,
A couple of years ago my friend Chimene Hickey told me about a flash flood in Bukit Luwang in north Sumatra. During the night a wall of water came down the mountain and swept half the town away. Natural events combined with poor planning (New Orleans levees), make disasters a ‘when’ and not an ‘if’.
Let’s hope the death toll in Java doesn’t get any higher.