JAKARTA • Heavy rainfall in parts of central Indonesia this month has led to severe flooding and landslides, affecting tens of thousands of people, the authorities said yesterday.
The national disaster mitigation agency said the torrential rains in the provinces of South Sulawesi, South-east Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and East Kalimantan flooded and carried away buildings. Hundreds of hectares of farmland were submerged.
"There were no fatalities in the floods, but the disaster in North Konawe district of South-east Sulawesi province has displaced 5,703 people in 42 villages after heavy rain caused three rivers in the area to overflow," agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.
In Kutai Kartanegara, a district in East Kalimantan, 16,385 people were affected over the weekend, he added. In South Sulawesi, more than 5,000 people were hit by the floods.
The Indonesian authorities have not yet issued an estimate of the economic damage. Mr Mulyono Prabowo, a meteorologist from the country's meteorology agency, the BMKG, said he expected the extreme weather to continue in the region for some more days.
A reason for the weather conditions was the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a moving, intra-seasonal atmospheric phenomenon in the tropics which influences rainfall in the region.