Deadly Flooding Rocks Indonesia

Deadly flooding and landslides in Indonesia over the weekend have killed at least 35 people and dozens more are still missing, reported The Atlantic. Triggered by heavy rains, the flooding caused landslides in Indonesia’s Central Java province, which lies east of the capital city Jakarta.

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Officials with the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency said that of the 35 people known to have perished in the deadly flooding, 31 of them were killed in landslides and four were swept away. The regency of Purworejo, which lies in south Java island, has experienced the worst landslides and flooding after the Bogowonto River overflowed following heavy rainfall.

“Rescue operations are still underway to search for other victims, while dozens of houses are damaged and buried in the landslide and thousands of homes are inundated,” stated Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s Disaster Management Agency.

According to Deutsche Welle, the deadly flooding in Indonesia began Saturday and hit the province unexpectedly, causing landslides and avalanches to sweep away entire villages. In one case, a mudslide buried five people in their homes, while in another incident the deadly flooding caused an enormous landslide to strike cars and people on a village street, killing at least nine.

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Nugroho told the Associated Press that 25 villagers are missing from Purworejo, where 19 people have also been confirmed dead, including two ten-year-olds and a pregnant woman. He also said seven people were killed in the Kebumen district, along with six in the Banjarnegara district. More deaths are expected to be announced as rescue efforts continue.

“Rescue workers including soldiers, police and volunteers were still searching for victims and evacuating others, wrote The Weather Channel. “Most of the flooding has receded, but residents in affected areas were encouraged to remain vigilant because heavy rains were predicted to continue until Monday.”

The Disaster Management Agency also sent five emergency rescue teams to assist regional bodies in searching for survivors and evacuating victims. Indonesian authorities have also erected temporary shelters to house victims fleeing from the deadly flooding and landslides.

This vast tropical archipelago includes 17,000 islands, where millions of people live in mountainous areas or flood-prone plains close to rivers, in parts of Indonesia that are especially prone to severe rains, which often cause deadly flooding and landslides. In fact, as recently as 2014, more than 70 people were missing after a mudslide buried more than 100 homes in the Central Java village of Jemblung. And just last month 15 students enjoying a holiday at a popular tourist spot in western Indonesia were killed when a landslide triggered by deadly flooding swept through the camp ground where they were staying.

At this time, The Weather Channel reports that most of the flooding has receded but adds that residents of affected areas are encouraged to remain on guard, since heavy rains are expected to continue through Monday. In all, 16 districts in Indonesia have been affected by the deadly flooding and at least 14 people have already been reported injured, in addition to those missing and killed in this natural disaster.

“Footage aired by local broadcasters showed villagers sitting on their roofs to escape the rising water, their cars and homes submerged in brown water,” wrote ABC.

Unfortunately, areas in the most densely populated parts of the province were the worst hit by the deadly flooding this weekend in Indonesia, where dozens of homes were destroyed by fast-moving walls of mud, rock, and water.

Heavy rains followed by deadly flooding also hit West Sumatra on Thursday and Friday, killing at least one person and displacing thousands. Although June is a relatively dry month in the region, the National Climatology, Metorology and Geophysics Agency has issued warnings for potential heavy rains starting in late June and continuing through Early July. High tides and waves are also on the forecast for the southern coast of Sumatra, Java and East Nusa Tenggara.

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