Days of heavy rain on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia triggered deadly flooding and landslides which have left at least 26 dead and 11 missing.

Rescue after flooding in Padang Pariaman Regency, West Sumatra, March 2024. Photo: BPBD Padang Pariaman Regency

According to BNPB, Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency, heavy rainfall triggered flooding and landslides in a number of areas in West Sumatra Province from 07 March 2024.

By 10 March, BNPB reported at least 19 fatalities along with widespread damage to homes, forcing over 80,000 people to evacuate.

Flood waters swept through streets of Padang City, capital of West Sumatra province, impacting around 10,000 homes and displacing 3,734 people. Authorities reported flooding in 31 locations in eight sub-districts in the city area between 07 and 09 March. Landslides were reported in six locations. Figures show that almost 300 mm of rain fell in 6 hours late on 07 March 2024.

Communities in Pesisir Selatan Regency were also severely impacted. On 10 March, BNPB reported flooding had affected 25,794 families and displaced 76,178 people. At least 16 people lost their lives in the regency.

Fatalities were also reported in Padang Pariaman Regency, where severe flooding and multiple landslides have affected 2,958 people and displaced over 200.

Other affected areas include Solok City and the wider Solok Regency, Limapuluh Kota Regency, Agam Regency, Pasaman Regency and West Pasaman Regency.

Search and rescue teams have been working to find those reported missing. In the latest update of 11 March, BNPB confirmed 26 fatalities and 11 missing. BNPB reported damage to over 30,000 homes, 26 bridges, 45 buildings of worship, 25 schools, 13 roads and 5 public buildings.

The Head of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Lt. Gen. TNI Suharyanto will visit West Sumatra Province on 11 March to observe emergency management operations and the evaluate the impact of the disaster.

Search and Rescue teams working at a landslide site in Padang Pariaman Regency, West Sumatra, March 2024 BPBD Padang Pariaman Regency

Flooding in Padang Pariaman Regency, West Sumatra, March 2024 BPBD Padang Pariaman Regency

Heavy rain has taken its toll on other areas of the country in recent days. A landslide in occurred in South Sulawesi Province in Indonesia on 26 February 2024, causing damages and fatalities. As of 29 February authorities reported 5 fatalities. Nine people who were still missing were later found.

Heavy rain triggered flash flooding in Belu Regency, East Nusa Tenggara on 05 March. One person died in West Tasifeto District as a result. In the following days flooding in North Gorontalo Regency, Gorontalo damaged over 2,000 homes.

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