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Jakarta Post

Heavy rains trigger landslides, claim lives

  • Syofiardi Bachyul Jb and Slamet Susanto

    The Jakarta Post

Padang/Purworejo, Central java   /   Tue, February 9, 2016   /  03:10 pm

Heavy rain continued to pour across the country on Monday, causing disasters that resulted in the deaths of several people.

High rainfall in West Sumatra from Saturday triggered landslides and floods across six regencies and cities, killing four residents while at least two others are presumed dead. The disaster cut access from the province to Kerinci regency in Jambi and areas in Riau, forcing 6,000 people to evacuate.

West Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Zulfiatno claimed that six people were killed when their house in Jorong Taratak Tinggi, South Solok regency, West Sumatra, was buried by a landslide on Monday at 3 a.m.

'€œFour of the victims were found dead, while two others are still missing as of this afternoon. We have yet to confirm the names of the victims,'€ Zulfiatno told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He said another victim, identified as Fadri, 16, was reportedly swept by an overflowing river in Limapuluh Kota regency as he was fishing.

Landslides and flooding continued from Saturday until Monday morning, affecting Solok city as well as Limapuluh Kota, Sijunjung, South Solok, Agam and Pasaman regencies.

'€œFlood victims were evacuated to safer areas as floodwaters engulfed homes at a level of up to 2 meters. They are in need of aid, such as foodstuffs and clothing,'€ said Zulfiatno.

In Limapuluh Kota, Pangkalan district was engulfed by 2 meters of water as a number of rivers burst their banks. The floodwater also swamped government offices and the Pangkalan Police station. Cars parked at a nearby market were submerged up to their roofs.

In Central Java, the bodies of seven people killed on Friday in a landslide in Penungkulan village, Purworejo regency, have been found, and the search was officially stopped on Sunday afternoon.

'€œThe two latest victims were found on Sunday at 5 p.m. local time. A total of seven victims were found and the recovery effort has been stopped,'€ National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) Yogyakarta chapter operational head Asbani said on Monday.

They were identified as Salimah, 60, and Triyanto, 9, while the five other victims were Sarengat and Sumini, both 80, Suprapti, 45, Fitri, 16 and Erni Yulianto, 8.

The landslide, which occurred around 8 p.m. on Friday after several days of heavy rain, caused a 30-meter cliff to collapse, burying two houses.

Asbani said his agency had deployed two rescue teams, each consisting of 15 members.

In Riau, high rainfall over recent days triggered floods in a number of villages in Rambah and Rokan IV Koto districts, Rokan Hulu regency.

In Rokan IV Koto, thousands of homes in four villages and two subdistricts were engulfed on Sunday by the overflowing Mentawai and Palis rivers, whose levels rose 3 meters higher than usual.

The water also swept away the Sei Mentawai Bridge, which is the only access route to Sipang Kiri, Cipang Kiri Hulu, Tibawan and Kubang Buaya villages.

In East Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), a nine-day search for Theresia Madis, 68, who was swept away by water from the overflowing Wae Togong River in Sambi Rampas district, East Manggarai, remained unsuccessful as of Sunday.

'€œWe have been searching for the victim for nine days,'€ East Manggarai BPBD head Antonius Dergon told the Post.

In Siru village, Flores, NTT, rescuers managed to find two victims who were swept away by the Wae Laci River.

Rizal Harahap in Pekanbaru and Markus Makur in East Manggarai contributed to this article

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