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794 hectares of parched rice field in Karawang

KARAWANG, W Java, March 31 — At least 794 hectares of rice fields in Karawang regency, West Java Province, had dried up after an inundation for more than a week.

Head of Karawang regency`s agriculture and forestry office Kadarisman said here Tuesday that the flood waters had inundated 961 hectares of rice field.

However, 794 hectares dried up, he said, adding that his office has calculated the material loss of the farmers.

Kadarisman said the farmers could have lost at least Rp2.5 million for every hectare of rice field.

To help the farmers, his office would provide them with seeds and fertilizers. Therefore the help of donating agencies and the central government was badly needed, he said.

"My office`s budget for handling the flood impacts is limited. This year, the budget allocation is focused only on controlling plant disturbances," he said.

The floods in Karawang district inundated at least 35 villages in 10 sub-districts with more than 15,000 houses but since last Saturday the flood waters had receded.

According to the Karawang social welfare authorities, the worst hit villages were in the sub-districts of Telukjambe Timur, Karawang Barat, and Pakisjaya.

Before the flood waters receded on Saturday, the height of the flood waters in the three subdistricts reached 50 centimeters to two meters.

In certain areas, the flood waters had even reached roof tops.

Head of the Karawang social welfare office, Banuara Nadeak, said the overflowing of the Citarum River was the cause of the floods in 10 sub-districts.

The sub-districts are Telukjambe Timur, Karawang Barat, Pakisjaya, Telukjambe Barat, Ciampel, Batujaya, Pakisjaya, Rengasdengklok, Jayakerta, and Klari, he said.

Besides inundating houses, the floods also submerged hundreds of hectares of rice fields.

Last Wednesday, Vice President Boediono had ordered Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Radjasa to pay serious attention to the fate of the farmers whose rice fields had been destroyed by the floods.

Vice President Boediono asked Hatta to assess the impact of the floods on the rice production of parts of Karawang district, he said.

The farmers themselves had expressed deep concern about the natural disaster`s serious impacts. (PNA/Antara)

/ebp

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