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Seroja 2021 in East Sumba: A Throwback
Posted by maxfm on 9th April 2024
Mauhau bridge on Sunday [04/04/2021] at 12:01 WITA [Photo: Heinrich Dengi]

MaxFM Waingapu – The story began on Sunday (04/04/2021).
After leaving church that morning, together with some friends, I headed to the Mauhau bridge. We heard circulating news saying that the water level at Kambaniru River was higher than usual.

The south of Mauhau bridge, Sunday [04/04/2021] 12:01 WITA [Photo: Heinrich Dengi]

Out of curiosity, we rushed to the Mauhau bridge at noon. It was around 12:00 WITA (Central Indonesian Time). At the location, many people had already been there to confirm whether the water at Kambaniru River had indeed risen.

The north of Mauhau bridge Sunday [04/04/2021] 12:02 WITA [Photo: Heinrich Dengi][/caption]

When we arrived, the water was already at the same level as the estuary at Kambaniru River. The situation was gloomy because of the pouring rain and dark clouds hanging in the sky. While taking pictures at 12:02 to the north of the Mauhau bridge, I saw an airplane by Wings Air flying out of Umbu Mehang Kunda airport. It was the last flight of the week because the weather got more severe on the following day April 5, 2021, forcing the airport to close the service.

The north of Mauhau bridge Sunday [04/04/2021] 12:02 WITA, a Wings Air plane seen leaving UMK Airport [Photo: Heinrich Dengi]

While taking pictures of the condition, people reported that the Kawangu River had risen, overflowing and sweeping away the houses of nearby residents, so we headed there to check the situation.

Near the Kawangu bridge, Sunday (04/04/2021) 12:21 WITA [Photo: Heinrich Dengi]

Constant heavy rain and strong winds accompanied our drive from Mauhau Bridge to Kawangu. Upon arriving near the Kawangu bridge around 12:22 WITA, I saw that some houses on both sides of the main road from Kawangu to Waingapu were already submerged in water.

SNear the Kawangu bridge, water was flooding the residential area, on Sunday (04/04/2021) at 12:21 WITA [Photo: Heinrich Dengi]

Residents flocked the road; vehicles were also seen parked at the side of the road. One of the residents mentioned that the river water began to rise and flood the neighborhood since morning around 9:00 WITA. He added that the water reached as high as the windows.

Near Kawangu bridge. A house was swept by the overflowing Kawangu River on Sunday (04/04/2021) at 12:31 WITA [Photo: Heinrich Dengi]

I remember witnessing a house on the south side of the Kawangu bridge being swept away by the flood (thankfully, the house has been newly built and looks sturdier today).

As we returned to Waingapu, we heard the news that the water had flooded the road in front of GKS Kambaniru, reaching as high as an adult's ankles.

SNear Kawangu bridge. Water was flooding the residential area on Sunday (04/04/2021) at 12:33 WITA [Photo: Heinrich Dengi]

Recalling what happened that day, I contemplate how devastating the impacts that Seroja brought to the people in Sumba.

Today, in the deepest part of my heart, I pray silently, sincerely wishing that Sumba will always be blessed and prevented from catastrophes. [HD]
[Translatro: Itha Prityastiti]

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