Indonesia: 19 killed, dozens missing in floods striking N. Sumatra

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post 13 Oct 18;

At least 11 students have died while another 10 are missing after a flash flood inundated a school building in Muara Saladi village in Mandailing Natal regency, North Sumatra, on Friday afternoon.

The deluge that was preceded by downpours since Thursday also damaged 22 houses and electricity poles in the province’s southern regency.

Mandailing Natal Disaster Management Agency head Yasir Nasution said the flood suddenly arrived at 4 p.m. while the students were in class at SD No. 235 state elementary school.

“Eleven students were found dead, while dozens are still missing,” Yasir told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

He said search and rescue teams were on site trying to find the missing students, but were hampered by disrupted telecommunications and access in the area.

It was also reported on Saturday morning that another two, a police officer and a bank official, died after a vehicle that carried them fell into the overflowing Aek Saladi River.

The heavy rain earlier caused floods on Thursday that inundated Sikara Kara village, cutting road and electricity access in the area. A bridge also collapsed because of flooding, but there were no casualties in the incident.

Another flash flood hit Sibolga, the city in the north of the province, on Thursday, killing a family of four. Their bodies were found under the rubble of their house in Sibolga Ilir subdistrict.

Sibolga mayor Syarfi Hutauruk sent his deepest condolences for the deaths of the four residents. He explained that rainstorms had occurred in several areas in Sibolga since Thursday at noon, prior to the flooding

Several areas in Sibolga, Syarfi went on to say, are prone to flooding and erosion when the rainy season comes, especially in Ketapang and Dolok Martimbang.

“Some areas here [in Sibolga] are prone to disaster, that’s why we always ask the public to be cautious, especially for those who live on the riverbanks or hill slopes,” Syarfi said on Friday.

In Simalungun, a severe flood killed a husband and wife who were dragged by the strong currents that struck their house. Their bodies were found 2 kilometers away from their house. (dpk/wit)

Five die in W. Sumatra floods
Dyaning Pangestika The Jakarta Post 13 Oct 18;

At least five people died and five people have been reported missing during flooding in West Sumatra on Thursday.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has confirmed that four people died in Tanah Datar regency. The deceased have been identified as Roni, 30, Yerinda, 56, Anis, 2, and Efendi, 10. They were all swept away by floodwater. Three other people, identified as Erizal, 55, Daswirman, 58, and Yusrizal, 45, had yet to be found as of Saturday morning.

Six people were injured and 10 buildings and two bridges severely damaged in the flood. BPBD Tanah Datar is cooperating with the Indonesian Military, the National Police and volunteers in search and rescue efforts.

Tanah Datar Regent Irdinansyah Tarmizi has declared a seven-day state of emergency from Oct. 12 to Oct. 18 in response to the disaster.

Severe flooding and erosion also occurred in West Pasaman regency. The affected districts are Pasaman, Ranah Batan, Koto Balingka, Sei Beremas, Lembah Melintang, Gunung Tuleh, Talamau, Sasak and Kinali.

BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said one person had died and two people had been reported missing in West Pasaman.

“At least 500 buildings are inundated, while three bridges collapsed and two houses were swept away by the flood,” Sutopo said in a statement on Saturday.

BPBD West Pasaman has started distributing relief aid to victims, but heavy equipment, staple food, blankets and clothes were still needed.