Legentang Village Tragedy, Dieng, Banjarnegara, Central Java, Indonesia

The concrete monument has been standing there years ago, on Pekasiran village, in the range of Dieng mountains of Batur district , Banjarnegara. The height of the monument is around 10 meters, marks the tragedy and the mystery of Legentang hamlet buried with its entire people for Pengamunamun mountain erosion in 1958. On the inscription depicted on the crossroad of Kepakisa village toward Kawah Sileri mentions that the total casualties were 450. Far more in amount than the victims of Sinila poisonous gas in 1979, which killed 149 people which took International attention.

One of witnesses of Legentang tragedy, Suhuri lived in Pekasiran village and now he is more than 70 years old, said that this disaster struck at 23.00 in rainy season. He and his friends slept at mosque and he heard about the incident of erosion on 3 am. He had relatives on the village, but he could not go there as Mt Pengamunamun slop kept eroding. The village was gone with all the people, and it is still a mystery until today, as Suhuri and several Pekasiran village people who are as old as him said that between the foot of Pengamunamun and the border of the village was not buried by the erosion, while the distance was only several hundreds meters. The valley, and river between Pemgamunamun mountain and Legentang are still there. The erosion was like flying from the mountain slope and fell to the settlement. It was strange. The village which was in the middle of low land was became like a new hill. The witness said. Further he said that the erosion phenomenon had been known 70 days before the disaster day. The grass-seeker, the wood-seeker saw deep long crack there. But this did not make them aware, though it became topics in Legentang. People just connected this after the disaster.

After the disaster, none of the house could be seen, there was no life anymore, the inhabitants were let buried there in their houses as it was difficult to evacuate them. The evacuation was only focused on the village leader house, Rana. Rana’s wife was alive as she was the only one going out before the erosion. Overtime, the disaster location was used to plant vegetables.

In the past, Legentang farmers were rich. And even if other village’s farmers did not have good crops, they had abundant crops. The crops quality was more than others. They had fun with Lengger dance entertainment, gambling, drunk and adultery.