What if 2020 is just a trailer of 2021?
It’s been a tough week for Indonesia as disaster after disaster hit almost entire archipelago.
It all started with shock news about Sriwijaya Air plane crash. The doomed SJ182 flight plunged into the sea about four minutes after it left Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta on Saturday, January 9.
Sixty-two passengers and crew were aboard the plane, including 10 children. Data from FlightRadar24 indicated that the plane reached an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 meters) before dropping suddenly to 250 feet. It then lost contact with air traffic control.
Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) on Tuesday, January 12, confirmed it has received the crashed Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182’s flight data recorder, which was retrieved by Navy divers from the aircraft’s wreckage.
On Sunday, January 10, at least 13 people were killed and 29 others injured in the landslides that were triggered by heavy rain in Cihanjuang, a village in West Java’s Sumedang district.
Seasonal rains and high tides in recent days have caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across much of Indonesia. At the same week, flood also hit West Sumatera in South Solok District, almost entire South Kalimantan, and Jember in East Java.
A glimpse of good news came at Tuesday, 12 January as President Joko Widodo received the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine in Indonesia. Alongside President was Indonesian tv personality, Raffi Ahmad, who boasts almost 50 million followers on Instagram.
However the decision to include social media influencers on the priority list backfired somewhat when photos of Raffi showed him partying hours after he was given the injection, which does not confer immediate immunity.
The images of him unmasked and flouting social distancing protocols with a group of friends drew criticism on social media, with calls for him to set a better example.
Flooding, earthquake, and volcano erupt in a one week!
Straddling the Pacific ring of fire, Indonesia, a nation of high tectonic activity, is regularly hit by earthquakes.
On January 15, at least 42 people were killed after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island early on Friday morning. Hundreds more were injured when the earthquake struck in the early hours, triggering panic among the terrified residents of the island.
The meteorological agency warned residents that the area could be hit by strong aftershocks and to avoid the beachfront in case of a tsunami.
At least 34 bodies have been hauled from beneath crumpled buildings in Mamuju, a city of about 110,000 in West Sulawesi province, while another eight were killed south of the area after the quake struck.
At the end of the week, South Kalimantan administration has declared a state of emergency as flooding in multiple regencies has forced more than 20,000 people to flee their homes. Heavy rainfall has drenched the province since first week of January, causing rivers in the regencies to overflow.
After landslide and flooding, now what?
Mount Semeru in Lumajang, East Java, spewed clouds of gas and ash as far as 4.5 kilometers away on Saturday (January 16) afternoon as authorities warned of the potential for continuing volcanic activity.
Meanwhile Mount Merapi, located between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, also released a column of hot cloud rising 200 meters above the crater and reaching nearly 600 meters on Saturday.
In Covid-19 related news, Indonesia added 7.491 recoveries and 12.818 fresh Covid-19 infections in a single day, according to data from the Task Force for Covid-19 Handling, released on Friday, January 15.
With this, the total tally of Covid-19 cases in the country reached 882.418, while the number of recoveries touched 718.696. Meanwhile, with 238 people succumbing to the infection in a single day, the death toll climbed to 25.484, data from the task force showed.
And January wasn’t over yet. 2021 could even be tougher.