Floods sweep through North Sumatra, Riau and West Java

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Rizal Harahap and Apriadi Gunawan
The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru and Medan | Thu, November 8, 2018 | 06:33 pm

Heavy rain in the western part of the country recently resulted in floods and landslides in several provinces, including North Sumatra, Riau and West Java, claiming the lives of a number of people.

The body of Ulin Muslikin, a resident of Kebun Lado village in Singingi district, Riau, was found on Thursday morning after a three-day search. The 25-year-old gold miner had reportedly attempted to cross the overflowing Singingi River on Tuesday.

“The incident happened on Tuesday at about 9 a.m. [after heavy rain],” Singingi district head Irfansyah said Thursday.

“Soon after receiving a report on the incident, search and rescue teams set out on two speedboats and four canoes to look for the victim. The teams found the body this morning,” he said.

Ulin’s body was taken to the Singingi health center for an autopsy and will later be buried in his hometown in Pati, Central Java.

In Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra, flooding displaced thousands on Wednesday night. Water from the overflowing Batang Gadis River in the regency swept through housing areas and damaged roads.

“Many houses have been swept away. We are recording the number,” Mandailing Natal Disaster Mitigation Agency head Sulpardi said.

At least nine districts have been inundated, namely Lingga Bayu, Panyabungan, Kotanopan, Tambangan, Hutabargot, Panyabungan Selatan, Batang Natal, Kecamatan Naga Juang and Panyabungan Timur.

Displaced persons are being housed in a multipurpose building on Jl. Mandailing in the regency.

Sulpardi said some schools had been closed because of flooding.

Flooding occurred in the same regency last month, claiming 17 lives. Twelve of the victims were students of a local elementary school who had been studying in their classroom.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has warned of the possibility of intense rainfall in the next two weeks in the western part of the country. People have also been cautioned about the potential for landslides and flash floods.