22 killed in Indonesia flash floods, landslides

Jakarta: At least 22 people, including children, were killed and 15 others wounded as flash floods and landslides struck West and North Sumatra provinces of Indonesia, officials said on Saturday.

The disaster also destroyed 48 houses while evacuation and search operations for the missing were underway, the National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Among the casualties, there were 11 students of an Islamic school who died after being hit by collapsing buildings in Muara Saladi village of Mandailing Natal, during the flash floods on Friday, Sutopo told Xinhua News Agency.

Scores of people were believed to be buried under the mud. The spokesperson said that the death toll might rise, as the aftermath’s assessment was still underway.

Flash floods also struck several villages in Tanah Datar and Pasaman districts of West Sumatra province, damaging houses.

Meanwhile, landslides occurred in North Sumatra’s Sibolga town, destroying scores of homes.

Soldiers, the police and rescuers were rushing to search and rescue the victims, but the operations were hampered by poor access, as the affected areas were remotely located near mountain with bad roads, said Sutopo.

The floods and landslides came after a series of catastrophes in Indonesia, including multiple strong quakes and an ensuing tsunami that left over 2,000 people dead in Central Sulawesi Province.

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