Riau floods kill 5 as falling tree kills two in C. Sulawesi

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Rizal Harahap and Ruslan Sangadji, The Jakarta Post, Pekanbaru/ Palu | Archipelago | Sat, February 23 2013, 10:01 AM

Flooding in various parts of Riau killed five while unusual weather in Central Sulawesi felled a tree that killed two.

Three people were killed in Rokan Hulu regency and two more in Kampar regency.

Two of the three deaths in Rokan Hulu regency took place in Kepenuhan district.

Rinu Lia Buulele, 17, drowned after she slipped as she crossed an elephant trench at a palm oil concession area in Kepenuhan Koto Tengah subdistrict.

“Rinu was crossing the trench. As the board was wet and slippery, she fell into the swift flowing water,” said Rokan Hulu Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Aceng Herdiana on Friday.

Eight-month-old Selvi drowned when she fell from a swing into knee-high flood water at her home on a palm oil plantation in Kepenuhan Tengah district.

The third death took place in Bonia Darussalam district when Muhammad Yusuf, 24, was killed after being swept away by the river in Sontang village.

Yusuf drowned when he was wadding through the small river as a short cut home.

Two others were killed in Kampar regency.

Adi, 14, and Haryanto, 18, were killed after they were swept away by strong currents in the Tapung River in Senama Nenek village, Tapung Hulu district, and Kampar River in Salo Timur village, Salo district, respectively.

In Palu, Central Sulawesi, Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) head Aschadi SR said the sudden changes in weather caused light rain and strong winds.

Trees fell along several roads in Palu city and surrounding areas.

In Parigi Moutong regency, Sahwin, 35, and Yusran, 28, were killed by a falling tree, while 11 others were injured.

Parigi Moutong Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Yusuf Hondawan said the victims were searching for rattan and were killed when a tree fell on the hut they were sheltering in.

The accident scene was in a mountainous area that can only be reached on foot.