Indonesia: One dead as floods hit Central Sulawesi

Ruslan Sangadji The Jakarta Post 27 Jan 17;

Heavy rains have poured down on Central Sulawesi for the last two days causing flooding in several areas and claiming one life in Buol regency on Friday.

Central Sulawesi Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Bartholomeus Tandigala said several areas in Buol had been inundated by floodwaters as high as two meters. “One person died in a landslide,” he said, adding that his agency is still counting the number of houses affected.

Changes in land use, from forest to oil palm plantations, and sea abrasion contributed to the heavy flooding in Buol, according to Bartholomeus. “There are many forests that have been damaged,” he told reporters.

Ten districts and 48 villages are affected by floods in the regency. “Only five districts in Buol are unaffected,” he added.

The agency has encountered difficulties trying to reach the victims due to the high water level, Bartholomeus said. “The BPBD has been trying to channel aid since Thursday night,” he added.

Natural disasters loom large in Sulawesi
The Jakarta Post 27 Jan 17;

Natural disasters are looming large in some parts of Sulawesi, as floods have inundated hundreds of houses in Gorontalo and landslides have hit North Sulawesi.

The number of districts hit by flooding has continued to increase in North Gorontalo regency, Gorontalo province, with almost 500 houses in seven districts inundated as of Friday.

“The houses are swamped by 30 to 80 centimeters [of water],” the North Gorontalo Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BPBD) emergency section head Nurdin Humolungo told

Nurdin said the BPBD had encountered challenges such as landslides in Tolinggula district when distributing aid and evacuating victims from their homes amid flooding in the regency since Thursday.

On Thursday, landslides also hit Tambulinas, where a main road between Manado and Tomohon in North Sulawesi is located.

“Some 40 meters of the road is blocked by stones, soil and bamboo. We are still waiting for two excavators to clear the road of big stones,” Tomohon BPBD head Robby Kalangi said on Friday.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has issued early warnings for several cities and districts in North Sulawesi on expected heavy rains and landslides.

Bad weather is expected to hit North Sulawesi until February.

Meanwhile, the Central Sulawesi BPBD also urged residents to remain on alert regarding extreme weather that was expected to hit the province.

Floods have also hit the northern part of Central Sulawesi, Antara news agency reported.

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