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Jakarta Post

Floods in North Sumatra force hundreds from their homes

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Sun, September 13, 2020   /   07:53 pm
Floods in North Sumatra force hundreds from their homes Close to the edge: A house in Bakkara, Humbang Hasundutan, North Sumatra, is surrounded by water in a flash flood that hit the regency on Nov. 19, 2017. (Tribunnews/Facebook/Alice Panjaitan/File)

Two-day torrential rain led to flooding in Merbau district of North Labuhan Batu regency, North Sumatra, on Sunday, causing damage to public facilities and forcing hundreds of residents from their homes.

According to the North Labuhan Batu Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), the floods prompted around 600 families to seek shelter.

“It was still raining this morning, so the floodwater has yet to recede, and residents are still staying with relatives and in safer places,” North Labuhan Batu BPBD logistics head Sukardi said on Sunday.

The villages of Simpang Empat, Marbau Selatan, Belongkut, Lobu Rampah and Tubiran, as well as Marbau subdistrict, were heavily affected by the floods.

Sukardi added that at least 80 houses and several vehicles had been damaged. Meanwhile, schools, houses of worship and village maternity wards were also affected by the disaster. The floods also killed some residents’ livestock, such as goats and chickens.

“Some emergency kitchens have been established to help residents,” he said, adding that the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police had worked alongside the BPBD in the evacuation process.

According to Simpang Empat resident Syahrief, floods happen every year during the rainy season. Syarief expressed his frustration at the government’s lack of prevention measures.

“Thank God there were no casualties, but should we wait until someone dies of the disaster for the government to solve the problem?” he said. (trn)