Four lives washed away in Padang flash floods
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A flash flood following incessant rain struck parts of Padang in West Sumatra on Wednesday night, killing four people and making dozens of others homeless.
Idel, 30, a local resident involved in the search and rescue, said on Thursday that the four were buried by landslides at Kampong Ubi, Pauh district.
“When we heard about the incident, lots of us rushed to the spot and at about 9 p.m. members of the search and rescue team arrived,” Idel said as quoted by Antara news agency.
The SAR team found the body of a six-year-old girl, Najwa, at around 1 a.m. on Thursday and the body of Jamaris, 50, one hour later.
The bodies were taken to a house of their relatives about a one-hour walk from the incident site.
Around 7 a.m. the SAR team found another body, identified as Nila, 20, disinterred by local residents using hoes and other makeshift rescue equipment.
Several hours later the body of the fourth victim, two-year-old Salva, was also found.
Head of the West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency’s logistic and emergency unit Ade Edward said that the landslide took place at 5 p.m. after three hours of heavy rain.
The two houses of the victims very engulfed in mud, Ade said, adding that three others living in the ill-fated houses had managed to flee in time.
“The SAR team managed to arrive at the location several hours later as many parts of the roads leading to the location were flooded,” Ade said.
He explained that the search was halted after finding the four victims.
However, 24 families have been forced to live in temporary accommodation centers. Heavy machinery was used on Thursday to clean the rubble.
The landslide occurred five kilometers from Andalas University campus in Lamau Manis on the slopes of Bukit Barisan by the Batang Kuranji river, one of the major rivers dividing Padang.
No official data on damage to buildings and public infrastructure have yet been released, but at least seven houses in a number of locations were washed away.
The heavy rain had caused Batang Kuranji river to overflow, inundating dozens of houses by up to two meters.
Meanwhile, a sedan was trapped in floodwaters not far from Semen Padang cement factory.
Both Batang Kuranji and Batang Arau rivers also overflowed on July 24, 2012, damaging 33 houses in eight subdistricts.
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