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Torrential rains cause severe flooding in Sumatra, forcing 24 000 people to evacuate, Indonesia

aceh-sumatra-flood-january-2022

Heavy rains affecting Indonesia's island of Sumatra over the past days have forced about 24 000 people to evacuate their homes and left at least 2 people dead in the province of Aceh, officials said Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

According to Regional Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), torrential rains have been affecting the island for days, causing rivers to burst their banks and sending water levels surging in residential areas.1

A resident from the village of Lhok Sukon in Aceh told AFP this is one of the most severe floods they've experienced. "Floodwaters just kept rising – at my house, they are up to my chest."

According to the environmental NGO Walhi, the floods were exacerbated by deforestation to make way for Sumatra's expansive palm oil plantations.

A weather forecast for Aceh Province issued by the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) calls for more heavy rain over the next week with which can be accompanied by lightning and strong winds.2

Heavy rains have also been affecting neighboring Malaysia since December 2021, forcing around 70 000 people to evacuate and leaving about 50 dead.

References:

1 24,000 evacuated, two dead in Indonesian floods – AFP

2 BPBD Kabupaten Aceh Timur Operasikan 2 Perahu Politelin untuk Evakuasi Warga Terdampak Banjir – BNPB

Featured image credit: BNPB

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