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Torrential rains in Manado, Indonesia cause widespread flooding

Torrential rains fell in northeastern Indonesia for four days beginning January 14, causing floods that have devastated houses, claimed lives and destroyed livelihood. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reports that there are 18 people dead, two missing and approximately 40,000 displaced. In addition to the damage inflicted in the major city of Manado, the flooding also affected Jakarta, Bandung, Samarinda, Padang, Palu, and Pekalongan, the coast cities of northern Java island.
 
Bryan Sumendap, associate communication director for the Adventist church in east Indonesia (EIUC) reports that “it was two days of continuous rains affecting six cities and municipalities. Four Adventist churches were hard hit by the floods: Paal 2, Tikala, Tikala Baru and Sario churches. There are also other churches near the rivers and coast line but no confirmed news heard from the pastors yet regarding the conditions of these churches.” After four days of rain, the weather improved but Manado remained congested due to the impassable roads, which were still closed because of the thick mud and sludge on the roadways and the corresponding cleaning activities being conducted.  To add to the difficulties, there was a rumor of a tsunami which proved false but nevertheless caused widespread panic.
 
On the Saturday that followed, results of an organized clean up enabled members to hold a modified Sabbath worship service even though the main portion of the Tikala church was not functional. Two church schools in the area also sustained some damage as well as the church headquarters in the city of Manado (Manado Conference). Data from the conference states that 42 Adventist families are among those affected.
 
Pastor Noldy Sakul, EIUC made an appeal to raise funds for the survivors. Many Adventist mission headquarters have responded with monetary donations while Klabat University and the mission headquarters in north Minahasa donated food items such as rice, bottled drinking water, noodles and vegetables.  On January 17 EIUC officials received a significant amount of food donations in the form of 3,000 kilograms of rice and 60 sacks of vegetables (pechay, cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes) from Adventist members in Bolaang Mongondow field.
 
The EIUC staff built a makeshift public kitchen to provide ready-to-eat food for affected church members. The church leaders and members of Manado Conference responded to needs by providing clothes and bedding for displaced church members. In terms of a community needs response, ADRA Indonesia personnel made an assessment and drafted a National Emergency Response Plan due to the Alert Level 1 declared in Manado.
 
The lack of water and potential rain is hindering people’s efforts to clean up their houses from mud and debris. In spite of these challenges, the church members in Manado are working together to persevere and assist others during this difficult time.
 
Manado is the capital city of the North Sulawesi province in eastern Indonesia and located south of the Philippines, east of Malaysia and west of Papua New Guinea. With an approximate population of 22,963,895, eastern Indonesia is home to 753 Adventist churches and 101,624 Adventists in the EIUC. (Bryan Sumendap/AND staff)
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