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Jakarta Post

Floods inundate thousands of homes in Tebing Tinggi

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Sun, October 20, 2013   /  03:52 pm

Floods inundated thousands of homes in Tebing Tinggi, North Sumatra, on Sunday, after two of the largest rivers in the area '€“ Bahilang and Padang '€“ overflowed.

No fatalities had been recorded in the flooding although data from the Tebing Tinggi Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) showed that around 1,600 homes and several traditional markets were inundated by 1.5 meter-high flood waters.

The flooding in Tebing Tinggi affected four districts: Bajenis, Padang Hulu, Rambutan and Tebing Tinggi Kota.

Isa Purba, a resident from Rambutan district, said the flooding in Tebing Tinggi had occurred since Saturday morning. In the evening, floodwaters began to recede; however, the water levels increased again on Sunday morning.

'€œAround 5 a.m. local time, on Sunday, the floodwaters had risen to up to 1.5 meters, inundating resident'€™s homes,'€ Isa told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. Until now, the floodwaters had not yet receded.

Isa said Bahilang and Padang rivers were no longer able to accommodate the huge volume of water caused by heavy rain in the upper part of the rivers.

'€œThe flooding came out of season because the rainfall in Tebing Tinggi was not too high during the last several days. There were only cloudy days during the last two days,'€ said Isa, adding that his home was still being inundated by 1 meter-high floodwaters.

Tebing Tinggi Mayor Umar Zunaidi Hasibuan ordered local authorities to build emergency shelters to help residents in need in disaster struck areas.

He said the flooding affected resident settlements in Tebing Tinggi after the city'€™s main floodgate was damaged by water coming from the upper part of Bahilang and Padang rivers.

'€œThe damaged floodgate is located at the border of Badak Bejuang and Banda Utama sub-districts. This has become the main entrance of the floodwaters currently affecting resident settlements,'€ said Umar while asking local authorities to immediately repair the floodgate. (ebf)

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