Photos of an Indonesian village inundated with blood red water caused a frenzy on social media recently.
The reason for the crimson red water flowing through the streets of Jenggot, a village south of Pekalongan city in Central Java, however, was because floods hit a nearby batik factory.
Pekalongan is famous for manufacturing batik, a traditional Indonesian method of using wax to resist water-based dyes to depict patterns and drawings, usually on fabric.
A local official confirmed that the pictures were genuine and not doctored.
“The red flood is due to the batik dye, which has been hit by the flood,” Dimas Arga Yudha, the head of Pekalongan disaster relief, told Reuters news agency. “It will disappear when it mixes with rain after a while.”
Pictures of this village caused a stir on social media, with thousands of users sharing them. While some were fascinated with the coloured waters, others said that the pictures could be used to spread fear.
“I am so afraid if this photo gets into the bad hands of hoax spreaders,” said a Twitter user Ayah E Arek-Arek. “Fear mongering narratives about signs that it is the end of the world, bloody rain etc”.
It is not unusual to witness rivers in Pekalongan to turn different colours. According to reports, bright green water covered another village north of the city due to a flood last month.