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22 killed as flash floods, landslides strike Indonesia

13 Oct 2018, 13:01 ( 9 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Girls stand by the sea in Palu, Indonesia, on Oct. 10, 2018. File Photo Xinhua.

A total of 22 people including children were killed and 15 others wounded as flash floods landslides struck West Sumatra and North Sumatra provinces of western Indonesia, a disaster agency official said on Saturday.

   The disaster also destroyed at least 48 houses while evacuation and search for the missing persons were underway, spokesman of the national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

   Heavy downpours were blamed for the disasters in the districts of Pasaman and Tanah Datar of West Sumatra province, and the districts of Mandailing Natal and Sibolga town of North Sumatra province from Thursday to Friday, the spokesman added.

   Among the casualties "11 children students of an Islamic school were killed after being hit by collapsing buildings in Muara Saladi village of Mandailing Natal during flash floods on Friday," Sutopo told Xinhua.

   Scores of people were believed to be buried under the mud after the flash floods, and the death toll might rise as assessment of the aftermath was still underway, he noted.

   Flash floods struck several villages in Tanah Datar and Pasaman districts of West Sumatra province, damaging houses.

   Meanwhile, landslides took place in Sibolga town of North Sumatra, also destroying scores of houses.

   Soldiers, police and rescuers were rushing to search and rescue the victims, but the missions were hampered by poor access, as the affected areas are remotely located near mountain with bad roads, said Sutopo.

   The floods and landslides came as the country is reeling from a series of catastrophes, including the strong quakes in Lombok Island, as well as multiple strong quakes and an ensuing tsunami that left over 2,000 people dead in Central Sulawesi Province.

   Indonesia is frequently hit by floods and landslides during heavy rains.