Heavy continuous rains in Sumatra Island from 7 February 2016 have caused deadly landslides and flooding in five provinces (Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Bangka Belitung and Riau), killing at least seven people, damaging more than 16,257 houses and displacing or isolating at least 22,000 families. The floods have also rendered some villages inaccessible, due to damaged bridges and blocked roads, and inundated public facilities including health centers and schools.
In Aceh Province, the on-going heavy rainfall has raised the river water debit and delayed the water subsiding. Three main rivers in the area – Kreung Peuto, Kreung Pirak and Kreung Arakundo rivers – have overflown and flooded several districts, particularly Aceh Besar and Pidie Districts.
At least 287 houses are still inundated in these two districts as well as public facilities, such as mosques, primary health care centres, police offices, post offices and schools. Bridges and roads connecting villages have been damaged, affecting the communities’ livelihood. Furthermore, basic needs like clean water have been disrupted due to contamination of wells by mud and other dirt. The displaced people have been accommodated at eight sites composed of emergency tents in Padang Tiji and Muara Tiga sub-districts.
In North Sumatra Province, heavy rains over the past weeks in the district of Binjai have led two rivers to overflow and flood five sub-districts which has affected over 2,000 people. The floods have caused the displacement of 688 families and submerged a number of public facilities, including schools, places of worship and rice fields, covering a total area of 120 hectares located near the banks of the Wampu River.
In West Sumatra Province, the local disaster management office (known as Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD) reported that floods have forced around 4,000 people to evacuate their homes and take temporary shelter on higher ground. The heavy rainfall has caused a deadly landslide in Solok Regency. BPBD data mention that at least five people have died and one is still missing. Flooding is also affecting the subdistricts of Sungai Pagu, Pauh Duo and Sangir in Solok. According to BPBD, the flooding was triggered by three rivers - the Batang Bangko, Batang Suliti and Batang Lolo - overflowing their banks. Water is up to 1.5 metres deep in some locations, and as many as 5,000 homes have been damaged. Roads and rice fields have also suffered significant damage. In Solok city, the Batang Lembang River has burst its banks, damaging 36 houses. Flooding has also occurred in Limapuluh Kota District, where around 100 houses have been inundated and one person killed after being swept away by the floods.
In Riau Province, according to the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management/ Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), four rivers – the Rokan, Muara Bandar, Palis and Batang Lubuh – overflowed after continuous rains which started on 5 February 2016. Flooding has been reported in several districts, including Rokan IV Koto, Pagaran Tapah and Rambah. Updated reports show that 1,050 houses have been inundated, affecting 3,696 people in Rambah. Evacuations are being carried out and relief supplies distributed to those affected. The floods have also affected the two districts of Kampar and Rokan Hulu, displacing 4,887 families, damaging five bridges and submerging 2,032 houses as well as other public facilities, such as health centers, mosques, police station and schools.
The most updated information gathered by the Indonesian Red Cross Society/ Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) Bangka Belitung Chapter recorded at least 8,800 inundated houses which affected around 39,150 people from the four districts of Pangkal Pinang City, Central Bangka, West Bangka and South Bangka,, killing one person and displacing 2,316 people in 16 displacement sites.
In addition to the humanitarian impact, the floods have rendered the outage of electricity and disruption of roads connecting between villages. The disruption of communication network has now been recovered and the exchange of information between districts has returned to normal. However, daily activities are significantly affected due to the damages to the public and education facilities such as schools, mosque, police offices, etc.
The floods have contaminated the individual wells that people use as water source and it may cause further impact on public health.
The local government authorities in the provinces of Bangka Belitung, West Sumatra and Riau Province declared a state of emergency on 9 February. Meanwhile, in Aceh and North Sumatra provinces, the local government authorities have issued a flood alert.