23 February 2024 - Indonesia

INDONESIA: At least 11,500 people displaced by floods in Central Java

A man with a Save the Children vest walks along a street in Demak, Indonesia.

Photo: A man with a Save the Children vest walks along a residential street inundated with floods in Demak, Indonesia in February 2024. Abid Amirullah / Save the Children.

SEMARANG, Indonesia 23 February 2023 - Flooding in Demak and Grobogan regencies of Central Java, 300 miles (500 kilometers) from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, has displaced about 11,500 people, including at least 1,100 children, and forced some schools to close as the Southeast Asian country grapples with the increasing impacts of the global climate crisis.

At least 71,000 people have been affected by the floods in Central Java, which began earlier this month when heavy rain and a burst embankment flooded Demak town in Indonesia’s Central Java province. The floods have forced many public facilities to shut and damaged infrastructure including homes, schools, bridges, and government buildings.

Some 11,500[1] people have been displaced from their homes, while at least six schools have closed and a further eight have been converted into evacuation shelters.

Floods are common during the rainy season, which typically occurs between November and March, in Central Java. However, the country’s national disaster agency has said that more than 90 % of the country’s natural disasters over the past decade have been exacerbated by climate change.[2]

Anto*, 14, from Karangayartown in Central Java, said he was not able to go to school:

“I’m sad. Because of the flood I can’t go to school, I can’t study and I can’t play.”

Jayana, a resident of Karanganyar town in Central Java who has a disability, said:

“It flooded for half an hour and came up to my neck. When the flood began, we could not save anything, we evacuated and went to higher ground.”

Save the Children, along with local partner Migrant Care, has provided shelter and food to those affected and will provide educational packages to children and help people to return to their home once flood waters subside.

Fadli Usman, Humanitarian Director at Save the Children in Indonesia, said:

"Save the Children, in collaboration with Migrant Care, has provided five hundred hygiene kits to hundreds of families in three villages including supplies of water. We will also distribute educational packages to children and accompany residents when they return to their homes. We will work together to clean residents' houses while distributing clean water and we  will build forward better by promoting the resilience of children and families.”

Indonesia is ranked in the top-third of countries in terms of climate risk, with high exposure to all types of flooding, and extreme heat.

The intensity of these hazards is expected to grow as the climate changes. The country is particularly vulnerable to rising sea-levels and ranked fifth highest in the world in population inhabiting lower-elevation coastal zones. [3]

Migrant CARE (Indonesian Association for Migrant Workers Sovereignty) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Indonesia focused on the rights of migrant workers. Save the Children Indonesia worked with Migrant CARE during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization is well equipped to provide support to marginalized communities.  

Save the Children has worked in Indonesia for more than four decades. We’ve responded to nearly all the natural disasters that have occurred, including 2018’s deadly earthquake and tsunami where we were one of the first agencies to gain access to Sulawesi.


Notes to editors:

*Name changed to protect anonymity.


  1. Central Java Province Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) Feb. 2024.
  2. Flooding in Jakarta: A Call to Increase Climate Change Awareness https://news.climate.columbia.edu
  3. https://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/2021-05/15504-Indonesia%20Country%20Profile-WEB_0.pdf


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