Jakarta, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- At least five people have died and another 12,783 have been affected by flooding caused by heavy rains in the city of Medan in western Indonesia, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) reported on Saturday.
In a statement, the agency said that a total of 181 people, including 67 children and 26 elderly people, had been rescued, while floodwaters reaching as high as 30 to 60 centimeters had submerged 1,493 houses as well as a mosque.
Authorities said heavy rains caused the Belawan river, among others in the region in northern Sumatra, to overflow.
The mayor of Binjai, Muhammad Idaham, said nearly 3,400 families have been affected by the downpours that started on Thursday afternoon.
The mayor said he was coordinating the response with the local disaster mitigation office to distribute aid to the flood victims, and trace any missing persons who may have been swept away when the flood struck.
“We will immediately provide assistance to the flood victims because flooding has prevented them from doing normal activities. We will also provide medicines as floods are prone to spread disease,” he said according to the state-run Antara news agency.
He also urged the community to help each other and stay strong, particularly given the backdrop of Covid-19.
“In the midst of this pandemic, take care of your health, ladies and gentlemen. I hope we work hand in hand in overcoming this disaster,” he said.
Last July, at least 36 people died and 12,000 lost their homes as a result of a torrent of water in the municipality of Luwu North on the Indonesian island of Celebes in the central region of the archipelago.
Numerous floods and landslides affect Indonesia every year during the rainy season, which peaks between December and February. EFE-EPA