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Torrential rains in West Sumatra cause destructive landslides, fatal floods, Indonesia

Torrential rains in West Sumatra cause destructive landslides, fatal floods, Indonesia March 2024

Heavy rains affecting West Sumatra since Thursday, March 7, 2024, caused destructive floods and landslides that left at least 21 people dead and 6 others missing, officials said Sunday, March 10, 2024.

On Friday, March 8, a large landslide sent tons of mud and debris down a mountain and into a river which then burst its banks and ravaged several mountainside villages in the Pesisir Selatan district of West Sumatra province.

By Saturday, rescue operations had managed to recover seven bodies from the most severely affected village of Koto XI Tarusan, with an additional three bodies found in two adjacent villages.

The National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) updated the death toll to 21 by Sunday, March 10, after finding six more bodies in Pesisir Selatan and three in the neighboring district of Padang Pariaman. The agency also reported at least two injuries resulting from the flash flood and stated that search efforts are ongoing for 6 individuals still unaccounted for.

The floods and landslides affected up to 37 265 houses across West Sumatra, with 666 of them sustaining damage, three completely washed away, and extensive damage to infrastructure. This includes 26 bridges and two irrigation units that were damaged, significantly disrupting local transport and agriculture.

Additionally, 45 worship places and 25 schools were submerged, 13 roads were affected, more than 113 ha (279 acres) of land, and 5 public facility units.

BNPB said power outages and roads obstructed by thick mud and debris have significantly hindered rescue operations.

Even though the water has now receded, residents are still constrained by the need for food and clean water, and electricity is still out, Abdul Muhari, the Head of BNPB Disaster Data, Information and Communication Center said Sunday. The urgent needs that residents need include tents, food, blankets and sleeping mattresses.


1 [Update] Banjir dan Longsor di Sumbar, 19 Orang Meninggal dan 7 Orang Hilang – BNPB – March 10, 2024

2 Indonesia flash floods and landslide reports at least 21 dead and several missing – AFP – March 10, 2024


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