Hundreds of survivors of flash floods in Central Sulawesi’s Sigi regency are having a hard time getting basic necessities, including fuel, while their mobility is hampered by damaged roads, leaving some districts isolated.

Governor Longki Djanggola has declared a state of emergency in the area until Saturday.

About 500 residents have had to leave their inundated homes following the flash floods. Basic commodities now have to be supplied from the provincial capital of Palu.

“The price of gasoline in Kulawi, one of four isolated districts, is now Rp 15,000 [US$1.05] per bottle,” Christian priest Temmy Ta’au said on Thursday. The usual price in Sigi is Rp 10,000.

Aside from being more expensive, fuel is also hard to come by because of damaged access roads to four districts of Sigi: Kulawi, Kulawi Selatan, Lindu and Pipikoro.

A road connecting Salua village with Sadaunta village in Kulawi, for example, can only be passed by motorcycles, and even that is difficult because of the mud and debris from the flood and the subsequent landslides. The road between Omu village and Tuva village in Gumbasa district, meanwhile, is totally damaged.

Residents, assisted by the Indonesian Military and National Police, have opened a motorcycle path through the mountains and cacao plantations.

Temy predicted that, unless the situation improved soon, the prices of basic commodities would continue to rise in Sigi.

The flash flood has damaged hundreds of houses with piles of mud and logs.

Sigi Regent Mohammad Irwan Lapata asked the survivors to remain resilient and alert. He said they had to prepare for more possible flooding amid forecasts of more rain.

“We have moved residents to safer places, but there are no safe places in two villages in Dolo Selatan district,” he said. Three villages in the district have been affected by floods, with two of them, Bangga and Walatana, hit particularly hard.

Regency authorities have set up a public kitchen for flood victims, but as of Thursday, the residents had yet to receive proper meals. (evi)