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Dam burst tragedy and three important notes

On Friday, March 27, 2009, Situ Gintung dam at Cirendeu, Tangerang, southeast of Jakarta, has broken-down and the water flooded like a small tsunami, washing away cars, houses and settlement area. Ninety nine people were killed and 102 others were missing (update the number of victims from on Tuesday, March 31, 2009).

My condolence for victims and their family. From all of that, there are three important notes that I want to share through this blog.

First, it is indeed the embankment that broken-down was caused by excessive debit of water. Situ Gintung levee was originally built under Dutch colonial authorities era, only able to accommodate 1 million cubic of water, while the debit of water before the incident has reached 2 million cubic of water debit. There should be early warning for residents who live around the embankment when felt there was something that threatens the safety of citizens. In Situ Gintung actually already there, but work less well.

Second, allotment of land around the flood plains has been infringe the rules. If refer to the rules then there can be no building within 30 meters distance from flood plains, in order to become water absorption area if overflow occur unexpectedly. But, housing has been built in flood plains at Situ Gintung area, so there is no water absorption area and at the time the embankment (dam) broken then the water immediately flooding in settlement residents. Therefore the allotment of land around the flood plains all over Indonesia should be re-standardization, for the sake of safety for all of us.

Third, for people who live in areas prone to disaster, need to prepare emergency response system independently, which can be used when something happens while waiting for help from the authorities. In that way, the number of victim could be minimized.

I hope the re-standardization of flood plains can be done immediately. End of word, flood is another "natural process" which can not be avoided, even though I feel very sad to know these disaster. All that we can do is using technology for early warning, prepare ourselves and give rapid-help to minimize victims. What is your opinion about this?


  1. Kacihan para korbannya, apa emang indonesia ini banyak salahnya, jd sering terjadi bencana ya?

  2. this is not "natural process" but human (government)'s indifferent/uncaring! and it's always repeated.

  3. @Rampadan - I quotes and translate your comment bellow:

    "Whether Indonesia a lot of wrong, so disaster occur often"

    Why you think like that?

    @Yendoel - That is the output from my deep-feeling of sad and for calm-down myself.

    @Elmo - No doubt!

  4. if tragedy occurs because the nature, it does not need to excused. but, if due to negligence, it is very sad.

  5. @Anthony Harman - According to you, is this tragedy occur because of the nature or negligence?

  6. Berdoa lah tetap untuk bangsa Indonesia tercinta

  7. moga yang di tinggalkan mendapat ketabahan dalam menghadapi musibah...

    bdw salam kenal pak...!!

  8. C'mon you can't really blame this on a natural disaster. After all its not like dams are a new and untested technology. This dam was 80 years old. Further with all the irrigation here its not like there is some lack of people without the skills on how to move water. Heavy rains? Correct me if I'm wrong but they can get heavy rains all the time here - call it the the rainy season. Nope unfortunately this disaster was man made and entirely preventable.

  9. From the information provided, I would have to say that this tragedy was completely preventable.

    Why were people allowed to move into this know to be unsafe area? And why was the dam not reinforced before this horrible tragedy? Eighty year old insufficient dam is ridiculous.

  10. @Laston M Nainggolan - Of course, I pray for Indonesia, but only pray is not enough without do something.

    @Azarre - Hopefully, Amen!

    @Pj - The dam was built in the Dutch colonial era in 1933 (76 years old). You are right, this disaster is preventable if the authorities really pay attention, re-build using new technology and cares with its maintenance. If I said "natural disaster", it just my end of word (because could not say anymore) as the output of my deep-feeling of sad (because can be prevented but don't care).
    However, your comment already give a different taste to this post.

    @Mckay K - I believe none of the authorities gave permission for them to inhabit unsafe area. They move by their own because poor or no choice, maybe.
    I agree with you that the dam should be reinforced or even re-build.

  11. Whatever the cause or whoever's responsible--will either acknowlege and live with their part in the disaster or chose to remain oblivious.
    Those who's suffered permanent loss, and are grieving those who died or frantic for those missing: They will mourn this loss and suffer anxiety as long as they live. It may be impossible for them to maintain any sense of hope now but they deserve our prayers and hope so that they can continue--and honor the memory of those they've lost.
    Tragedy is a word used too often and without real discernment--here we have a true catastrophe.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Indeed it's a national tragedy...
    Thanks for your post that can touch other people heart

  14. waaah...

    aku ngga mahir bahasa inggris tuh

  15. Yeah, it's our problems. I think it's time for us to recharge our mind about our environtment. If we didn't protected them, it's a disaster.

  16. @Kathleenmaher - Nice comment without judging anyone. I think, no one want to live in unsafe area except because of poor and no choice.

    @Karila Wisudayanti - You're welcome.

    @Antaresa - It's Ok, if you cannot write in English, you may use Bahasa Indonesia.

    @Newsoul - You are right.

  17. It's tragic and sad I hope it never happen again in the future.

  18. Semoga korban bencana diterima disisi NYA..

  19. mungkin Tuhan mulai bosan?

  20. Air adalah suatu berkah tetapi air juga bisa menjadi bencana jika diperlakukan tdk baik oleh manusia..

  21. iya mas, dimanapun kita berada kalo bisa harus siap menghadapi bencana, cuman kita kan juga harus punya waktu istirahat juga...

  22. Hi Tikno - I'm very sorry about this tragedy. We have developers building in low-lying, flood-prone areas here - we cannot work out how they get away with it. Well - it isn't so hard to work out - but it is very wrong and silly.

  23. Every calamity of this nature makes us wiser by hindsight. Unfortunately, we human beings never seem to learn from such calamities. This is not the first time that a dam burst. The same analysis that you have listed were found in the other cases too. They may have been in other countries but the reasons are not very different in basics. We invite trouble and bemoan our lot when trouble hits us.

  24. lets not blaming each other, i think this another usual sickness of our country..once the disaster occurred, people start pointing at each other..

    What now we should care is how to create some kind of disaster management prevention, to minimize the risk of disaster and creating awareness among people to respect the environment.

    Nice post..

  25. I hope the political gamer can be real honest to help the situ gintung victim....

    Thanks on your visiting my blog

  26. Oh, this is such a sad news, Tikno. I hope your government can do something about this so to avoid this in the future.
    It is so nice to be back here in your blog. :)

  27. kalo menurut gw, itu kesalahan pemerintah. Padahal ada dana buat reparasi tapi kenapa ga dibetulin?

  28. Well, talking about this tragedy, it's need some effort, need our concentrated time. I am glad to read all your opinions. For some reason I like this blog, especially the title of this blog. Guys....please come again to my blog so you'll know what's the reason.

  29. i think..thats is a mistake made by the government official.....(not just a common disaster)

  30. Semua kelalaian manusia ya Mas Tikno, tapi mereka selalu saja menyalahkan alam. Semoga pemerintah dapat bertindak cepat dan semoga juga hal2 seperti ini tidak terjadi lagi diwaktu mendatang.

  31. wah kok jadi anonim, salah klik saya nih Mas Tikno

  32. Turut prihatin mas atas kejadian iti


  33. @Abi - It will happen again if we don't care about environment. Take a simple thing like putting garbage to the proper place.

    @Dinoe - Amen! and greeting to you too.

    @Marianus - Did you realy said "Maybe the God began to be bored?"
    For me, I think the God began to be bored against our behavior to the environment.

    @Radhitya - Nice poem about water.

    @Suryaden - I mean about a system, NOT every person must be awake and standby all the time just for watch out the disaster without sleep.
    I mean an early warning system using the technology with a few of officers guard.

    @Robin - Would you like to share a few example of early warning system from your country Australia, particularly for preventing flood disaster.

    @Rummuser - Maybe you right, the reasons are not very different in basics in the other cases. Your comment seem for developing countries, if I'm not wrong.

    @Mama Hilda - I'm interest on you statement above.

    @Samarinda - I saw the authorities already help them. I also saw the President and the Vice President has given the quick response. Are you have seen something wrong?

    @Grace - They already do something when the disaster happen.

    @Rian Xavier - I agree, government should take responsibility (reinforce the dam or build new). The reason why we should paying tax.

    @Neng Aia - Greeting to you too.

    @Newsoul - Let me know, please. I love your blog too, Elly Suryani.

    @Mel - Like comment from PJ and Mckay above : preventable.

    @Seno (Anonymous) - Yes, most because of human error.

    @Erik94940 - Me too.

  34. Moga semuanya diberikan ketabahan dalam menghadapi cobaan ini

  35. I feel very sad over the tragedi but I know that the world need to know what happened. And I know that your blog post will help in some way.
    Keep up the good work.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  36. @Paman Gober - Hopefully.

    @Giovanna Garcia - Just sharing information about what we can do in the future.

  37. Too old 4 Jakarta.. Bencana ga ad matinya..hiks hiks

  38. Nice posting, boss.
    I'll be back.
    Btw, I have joined your community.

  39. Hi Tikno, it is so nice to be back here.
    Thanks for this information.
    Happy Easter! :)

  40. It's not right, but it does happen, and we wish it didn't.

    Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come back tomorrow!

    A Pinay In EnglandYour Love CoachI, Woman

  41. i see this this think as a lesson for the human, because theres many human mistake i've seen here...

  42. Hello. I found your blog on blogcatalog. I´m now following.

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  43. These people will be in my prayers how very sad!

  44. @Mata Hati - You right.

    @Yanuar Catur Rastafara - thanks.

    @Harry Nizam - Thank you very much.

    @Grace - I'm glad you're coming.

    @Joy - Wise thought. There is a lot of beautiful photos in your blog.

    @Bayu Nugroho - Partly is human mistake.

    @Steinar Arason - Thank you. I have visited your blog. Many interesting articles there.

    @Tamela's Place - Feel that you are a kind-hearted person. Thank you.

  45. A Christian was not necessarily choose a Christian Party, as well as a moslem.

  46. @Anthony Harman - May be your comment refers to the next post.

  47. It is extremely interesting for me to read this article. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.


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