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Schools in South Sumatra out for flooding, again
Publication Date : 22-02-2013
Thousands of students from 43 schools in six districts in Palembang, South Sumatra, were given a three-day vacation when half a metre of floodwater swamped their schools. The flooding closed schools in six districts: Gandus, Ilir Barat I and II, Kertapati, Plaju and Seberang Ulu I.
“We were forced to give the students a vacation because the floodwater has risen in the classrooms and they cannot be used,” said Hendra Firdaus, headteacher at SMA Negeri 9 Palembang, on Thursday.
Schools would start again on Monday, he said.
Siti Rahma Utami, one of the school’s students, said they were still preparing for next week’s mid-semester exam. “But due to the flooding, we have to study by ourselves at home,” she said.
Similarly, Boni Siswanto, a teacher from state-junior high school SMP Negeri 12 Palembang, said that students in the school were given a vacation. “We worry that students will contract flood-borne diseases if we let them stay in the classrooms,” he said.
The flood has been caused by the overflowing Musi river tributary and affect not only Palembang but also six other regencies in South Sumatra.
Around 600 local residents from Air Baluy village in Sangadesa, Musi Banyuasin, have fled as floodwaters as deep as two metres covered their homes. Over 20,000 houses in the six regencies are flooded.
The South Sumatra administration’s social affairs department said it had distributed humanitarian aids for flood victims, including 55 tonnes rice, 800 boxes of instant noodles, tinned fish, and clothes.
“This is the worst flooding for the last five years,” said the province’s head of social affairs department, Apriyadi.