April 6, 2021

350.org on Indonesia and Timor-Leste’s Killer Flash Floods

Indonesia – More than 100 lives have been claimed in Indonesia and neighboring Timor-Leste since 4 April, when torrential rains caused flash floods and landslides. The same disaster has left thousands of people homeless and in need of medical attention amid a pandemic. 

The extreme weather is expected to continue for days.

Sisilia Nurmala Dewi, Indonesia Team Lead for 350.org said:

“The floods and landslides our people are living through are exacerbated by the climate crisis. Unfortunately, some of the most affected people don’t make it out alive. Many who survive have also lost their homes and livelihoods. This is why we continue to fight for climate justice. If the Omnibus law takes effect, the repeal of several environmental laws means we would expect to see more disasters like this – more villages swept away, more homes lost, more lives lost.

We are asking the government to invest in a just recovery for our people — put their health first and provide efficient disaster relief directly to them. This disaster shows just how important it is. They can start doing this by stopping any new fossil infrastructure such as the Java 9 and 10 coal plants, and quickly delivering relief, both financial and medical, to the people. Lives are at stake, they need to learn from these disasters. To see people suffering and dying because of the fossil fuel-accelerated climate crisis— it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Bernadinus Steni, Chief Legal Officer of Inobu Foundation, who was born and raised in Manggarai, Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara said:

“A storm like this has never happened before. Storms are usually local and last for a few hours. This one lasted for days and covered the entire region. Most of the commodities such as clove, coffee, are severely devastated. I worry about their food supply. 

Climate change has worsened this storm, there is no doubt. My island was unfortunate to be hit, but if not, someone else would be affected. Our government must prepare and adapt our islands for the climate crisis because there will be another storm coming our way. They need to support our people and our ecosystems, and stop extractive industries such as mining, that will destroy our resilience in the face of climate change.”