Landslides, Floods Kill 62 in Indonesia Sumatra

Published November 26th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Landslides and floods following days of rain have killed at least 62 people and left 71 people missing in Indonesia's Sumatra island, reports and officials said here Sunday. 

A total of 57 people were killed and 71 were missing in West Sumatra, a search and rescue post there said, while five others were found dead following extensive floods in Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra island. 

The Search and Rescue office in Padang, the main city in West Sumatra, said that landslides and floods following incessant rains have since Tuesday killed 57 people in three districts and in Padang. 

Zulfahmi (Eds: one name) of the office said that the heaviest toll was in the Pesisir Selatan district south of Padang where landslides killed 44 people and left 22 others missing. 

In the Padang Pariaman district, six people were killed, swept away by flash floods, while in the Tanah Datar districts floods and landslides have killed five people and left 25 others missing, he said. 

In Padang city itself, floods had killed two people, while 24 other people were still missing, Zulfahmi said. 

The Antara news agency reported that floods had also killed five people in Aceh's districts of Bireun and North Aceh. 

Flash floods early on Saturday swept away 99 houses in Duo Koto village in Tanah Datar district leaving at least 25 people missing and presumed dead, the Republika daily said. 

Zulfahmi said that five people were killed in Tanah Datar district and 25 people remained missing. 

"Some 800 people are also still trapped by high water levels in Tanah Datar," he added. 

An avalanche of mud and stones that fell down the side of the Sangguling hill after days of rain hit Taratak Teleng village in Pesisir Selatan district killed at least 24 people on Saturday, Zulfahmi said. 

In Bayang, also in Pesisir Selatan, landslides buried two houses, killing a further 13 people, he added. 

Seven others were killed by flood and landslides in other areas of Pesisir Selatan. 

"Search efforts are continuing in Pesisir Selatan," Zulfahmi said. 

Telephone operator said lines to Painan, the main town of Pesisir Selatan district, had been cut by landslides. 

Since the rains began in West Sumatra on Monday thousands of hectares of paddy fields have been inundated under two meters of water, and road communications cut. 

Thousands of people have been evacuated to safer ground in four districts. 

Padang was nearly cut off as most of the main highways from the provincial capital were blocked by floods or landslides, the Media Indonesia daily said. 

Padang's Tabing airport was also unusable because its runway was inundated. 

The public work's office in West Sumatra estimated it could take up to a month to clear and repair roads, Media Indonesia said. 

Floods have also hit the several districts in Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra, including around Banda Aceh, the capital of the province, cutting it off from the rest of the province -- JAKARTA (AFP)  

 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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