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Eight dead in floods, landslides in North Sumatra

Heavy rain in North Sumatra has caused floods and landslides in some parts of the region. (Photo by AFP)

Source: The Jakarta PostDate: 7 December 2020

Heavy downpours battering North Sumatra since Thursday have caused floods and landslides in some parts of the region, claiming the lives of eight people. 

North Sumatra Governor Edy Rahmayadi said floods and landslides had been reported in some areas in at least six regencies and cities: Deli Serdang, Medan, Binjai, Humbang Hasundutan, Tebing Tinggi and Serdang Bedagai. 

In Deli Serdang, De Flamboyan housing complex was the most heavily affected by flash floods. An embankment of a nearby river that separates Deli Serdang from Medan collapsed in the early hours of Friday during heavy rains, sending water into the residential area. 

Medan Search and Rescue Agency, which sent a team to assist the local rescue team, reported six people were killed. 

“Strong currents made our efforts difficult,” Medan Search and Rescue Agency head Toto Mulyono told The Jakarta Post

In Medan, heavy downpours caused rivers to overflow in 13 villages in seven districts. 

“Floods have affected 2,773 houses in seven districts. All residents have been evacuated,” Nico Arwan of the Medan Disaster Mitigation Agency said. 

Head of the Medan Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Edison Kurniawan said the extreme weather since Thursday was caused by cyclonic weather disturbances in the northern Indian ocean near Sri Lanka. 

“Tropical cyclone Burevi in the Sri Lanka region and the presence of a low pressure area over the Philippines formed a wind convergence in [Sumatra’s] east coast and in North Sumatra’s eastern mountain range,” Edison said, adding that it triggered rainfall. 

“Several parts of North Sumatra are still expected to see moderate and heavy rainfall in the next few days,” he said. 

Extreme weather has also caused landslides in Sibolangit and Namorambe in Deli Serdang which, according to Toto, killed two.

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