Floods in North Sumatra drive hundreds from their homes

Floods in North Sumatra caused damage to public facilities and forcing hundreds of residents from their homes. PHOTO: AFP

MEDAN, NORTH SUMATRA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two days of torrential rain have led to flooding in Indonesia's North Sumatra province on Sunday (Sept 13), causing damage to public facilities and forcing hundreds of residents from their homes.

The floods prompted around 600 families from the Merbau district of North Labuhan Batu regency to seek shelter, according to the North Labuhan Batu Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD).

"It was still raining this morning, so the floodwater has yet to recede, and residents are still staying with relatives and in safer places," North Labuhan Batu BPBD logistics head Sukardi said on Sunday.

The villages of Simpang Empat, Marbau Selatan, Belongkut, Lobu Rampah and Tubiran, as well as Marbau subdistrict, were heavily affected by the floods.

Sukardi added that at least 80 houses and several vehicles had been damaged.

Meanwhile, schools, houses of worship and village maternity wards were also affected by the disaster.

The floods also killed some residents' livestock, such as goats and chickens.

"Some emergency kitchens have been established to help residents," he said, adding that the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police had worked alongside the BPBD in the evacuation process.

According to local resident Syahrief, floods happen every year during the rainy season.

Syarief expressed his frustration at the government's lack of prevention measures.

"Thank God there were no casualties, but should we wait until someone dies of the disaster for the government to solve the problem?" he said.

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