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(INDONESIA) JUST IN: A surreal, blood-red river has inundated the village of Jenggot in the wake of floods hitting a nearby textiles factory, causing a frenzy on social media #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Feb.08: Thousands of Twitter users have shared photos and videos of the village south of Pekalongan in Central Java being flooded by crimson-coloured water, with some saying it reminded them of blood:

‘Indonesian town turns blood red after flood hits batik textiles factory and is shared across social media’

ABC News: Posted 14h ago

A girl walks through a flooded road with red water
Dye has turned floodwaters red.(Reuters: Harviyan Perdana Putra via Antara Foto)

Pekalongan is a city known for batik, a traditional Indonesian method of using wax to resist water-based dyes to depict patterns and drawings, usually on fabric.

“I am so afraid if this photo gets into the bad hands of hoax spreaders,” Twitter user Ayah E Arek-Arek said. 

People ride motorbikes through the floodwaters in Pekalongan
People ride motorbikes through the floodwaters in Pekalongan.(Antara Foto: Harviyan Perdana Putra)

“Fear mongering narratives about signs that it is the end of the world, bloody rain etc.”

It is not uncommon for rivers in Pekalongan to turn different colours. 

Bright green water covered another village north of the city during a flood last month.

A man stands next to bright green floodwaters
A man stands next to bright green floodwaters in the village of Degayu.(Detik)

“Sometimes there are purple puddles on the road too,” Twitter user Area Julid, who claimed to be from the area, said.

A 2018 study found that wastewater from the batik industry was having a negative impact on the environmental health of residents in Pekalongan, and recommended the installation of wastewater treatment facilities.

The section head for disaster mitigation and preparedness of the Pekalongan Disaster Mitigation Agency, Dimas Arga Yudha, confirmed that the photos being circulated were real.

A police officer in Pekalongan holds up a bag of red dye
A police officer in Pekalongan holds up a bag of red dye responsible for the red flood waters.(Kompas)

“The red flood is due to the batik dye, which has been hit by the flood. It will disappear when it mixes with rain after a while,” he said.

Police told local media they were looking for those responsible for discarding the used dye that discoloured the floodwaters.

The Pekalongan Environmental Service said it had used a truck to suck up the floodwaters.

A house and carport inundated by the blood-red flood waters
It is not uncommon for Pekalongan’s waterways to turn different colours.(Antara Foto: Harviyan Perdana Putra)

Reuters/ABC

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Feb.08: 2021:

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