Indonesia: 18 Dead, 5 Missing, 46,000 Evacuated After Floods, Landslide

Electricity services remained disrupted across various regions of Sumatra following the calamity.

Flash floods and landslides wreak havoc on Sumatra, Indonesia.

A local official revealed that at least 18 individuals perished, with five others still unaccounted for, in the aftermath of the flash floods and landslides that struck the Pesisir Selatan regency of West Sumatra province. Torrential downpours triggered these devastating events, compelling approximately 46,000 residents to seek refuge in temporary shelters.

Doni Gusrizal, acting head of the Pesisir Selatan disaster mitigation agency, disclosed to AFP that the death toll had risen from the initial count of 10 reported earlier. He bemoaned the difficulties rescue efforts were having because of the obstruction that debris strewn throughout affected areas was causing.

As of the latest update, power outages persisted in numerous parts of Pesisir Selatan, exacerbating the post-disaster struggles. In one instance, a landslide buried at least 14 dwellings, over 20,000 houses endured inundation, and eight bridges succumbed to the forces of nature, as per information from the national disaster mitigation agency.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring Padang Pariaman regency, heavy rainfall between Thursday and Friday prompted river overflows, culminating in floods and landslides that claimed the lives of at least three individuals. Such tragic events highlight Indonesia's susceptibility to natural disasters during the rainy season, a situation made worse by deforestation. The destruction wrought by prolonged torrential rain extends across various regions of the archipelago nation.

This recent tragedy on Sumatra adds to the litany of past incidents, including a devastating landslide and flooding episode near Lake Toba in December, which resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of property. The recurring challenges posed by such natural disasters highlight the pressing need for robust disaster preparedness and mitigation measures across Indonesia.

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