Residents have been evacuated and several trans-Sulawesi roads have been cut off after flash floods hit the Panua nature preserve in Pohuwato, Gorontalo, on Monday, an official has said.
While no lives were reported lost, hundreds of homes in Patilanggio and Libuo districts were inundated by the flood runoff from the hills of the preserve.
“An embankment that propped up a bridge in Libuo village collapsed. Five homes of local residents in Maleo village also collapsed and were washed away by the flash floods,” Pohuwato Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chief Ramon Abdjul told The Jakarta Post over the telephone on Tuesday.
Relief crews have dispatched to remove mud and rocks swept along by the flood that have fallen dozens of big trees and cut off roads connecting Gorontalo and its neighboring province, Central Sulawesi, Ramon said.
“The traffic has returned normal since early Tuesday,” Ramon said.
Panua nature reserve head Tatang Abdullah said flash food were a common occurrence during rainy season.
“Flash floods continue to occur, as local residents have been continuously cutting down forests in the Panua nature preserve,” Tatang said, adding that the conservation area was currently 36,000, down from 45,575 hectares. (ebf)