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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Indonesia's Floods Death Toll Rises to 67


Fri 17 May 2024 | 03:16 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

The death toll from recent flash floods and mudslides in West Sumatra, Indonesia, has increased to 67, with 20 individuals still unaccounted for, according to an announcement by the national disaster management agency (BNPB) on Thursday. 

The latest figures come after five of the previously reported 25 missing persons were found deceased, raising the initial count from 62. In response to the disaster, over 4,000 people have been evacuated to nearby buildings and makeshift shelters.

The catastrophic events have led to significant damage, with at least 521 homes, 31,985 hectares of agricultural land, including rice fields, 19 bridges, and most of the main roads in the area affected. Suharyanto, the head of BNPB, stated that the government is now preparing to relocate survivors from severely damaged homes and those residing in areas at high risk of disasters.

Efforts are underway by both the BNPB and the West Sumatra provincial government to identify suitable locations for constructing new houses, with the government committing to provide the land and construct these residences within the next six months, although the start date for relocation remains undetermined.

The flooding began on Saturday evening following intense rainfall, triggering landslides and a lahar flow from Mount Marapi, a notably active volcano in the region. 

This volcanic mudflow, consisting of ash, rock debris, and water, contributed to the destruction, following an eruption in December that had already claimed over 20 lives.

Over the coming week, BNPB, along with police and military forces, will persist in their search for the missing individuals and focus on clearing debris from the main roads. 

The agency has shared footage showing the extensive damage in Tanah Datar, one of the three districts severely impacted by these floods.