Indonesian village turns blood-like red as floods hit batik-manufacturing hub

Indonesian village turns blood-like red as floods hit batik-manufacturing hub

On Saturday, a blood-red river flooded the Indonesian village of Jenggot, after floods hit a nearby batik factory. The images caused frenzy on social media.

Thousands of twitteratis started sharing the photos and videos of the village, Jenggot, being flooded by crimson-coloured water. Some netizens said that the colour reminded them of blood.

February 6, 2021: A girl walks through a flooded road with red water due to the dye-waste from cloth factories, in Pekalongan, Indonesia. –  REUTERS

A twitter user Ayah E Arek-Arek said, “I am so afraid if this photo gets into the bad hands of hoax spreaders.” He further added, “Fear mongering narratives about signs that it is the end of the world, bloody rain etc.”

The village which was hit by the floods is situated in south of Pekalongan city in Central Java. Pekalongan city is famous for manufacturing batik, which is a traditional Indonesian method of using wax to resist water-based dyes to depict patterns and drawings. Batik is usually made on fabric, but it can also be used on paper, wood, leather and even a ceramic surface.

The confirmation of the circulated photos being real was given by Dimas Arga Yudha, the head of Pekalongan disaster relief. Yudha said, “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.”

In Pekalongan city it is not uncommon for rivers to turn to different colours. During a flood last month, bright green water covered another village north of the city. A twitter user who claimed to be from the area said, “Sometimes there are purple puddles on the road too.”

Batik is an art which is becoming more popular and well known among contemporary artists all over the world. Not only Indonesians but this art is practised in many parts of the world including China, Japan, India, South America and Europe.

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