Environment

Severe flash floods and landslides leave at least 27 dead, dozens missing across Sumatra, Indonesia


At least 27 people have been killed and dozens are still missing after heavy rain caused severe flash flooding and landslides across the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The worst affected was North Sumatra with 18 reported casualties, West Sumatra with 8, and Riau with 1. This region is just entering its rainy season. More heavy rain, floods and landslides are expected in days, weeks and months ahead.

At least 29 people have been swept away after a school in Muara Saladi village, Mandailing Natal Regency, North Sumatra was struck by floodwaters mixed with mud and debris on Friday, October 12, 2018.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said rescuers and villagers found 11 bodies and rescued 17 other children and several teachers on Friday.

Bodies of 2 people washed away in Mandailing Natal were found early Saturday, October 13. 17 houses reportedly collapsed and 12 were swept away. Hundreds of homes were flooded up to 2 m (7 feet) high.

A severe flash flood in Simalungun killed at least 2 people after their house was swept away.

In neighboring Sibolga district, floods and landslides affected about 130 buildings, killing at least 4 people.

At least 9 have been killed and others are missing in West Sumatra and Riau, 8 in West Sumatra and 1 in Riau. 

More than 500 homes were flooded and three bridges collapsed.


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The region is currently transitioning into rainy season (October – February).

Bad weather is expected to continue in the weeks and months ahead. 

Notice Tropical Cyclone “Luban” hitting Yemen and dropping very heavy rain.

Featured image credit: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho





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