11 Missing as death toll rises to 26 in Sumatra flash floods

The death toll resulting from flash flooding and landslides on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has climbed to 26, with at least 11 individuals still unaccounted for.

The catastrophe, triggered by torrential rains on Thursday, wreaked havoc in West Sumatra province, causing rivers to overflow and swallowing homes in its path.

Abdul Muhari, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, stated on Monday, “eleven people are still missing while 26 others have been found dead.”

In the district of Pesisir Selatan, Fajar Sukma, an official from West Sumatra’s disaster mitigation agency, reported that 23 individuals were discovered deceased and six were still missing.

Three other victims were found dead in Padang Pariaman district, which also suffered heavy damage.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by extreme weather and spotty electricity, Sukma said.

“It is still raining today and rescuers are conducting the rescue operation in the middle of the rain.

“There’s a possibility that the number of casualties will continue to rise as we update the report,” he said.

Sukma said that as of Sunday, rescuers had managed to open access to the most affected areas and distribute aid to evacuees, including tents, medicines, and instant food.

The disaster has damaged hundreds of houses, bridges, mosques, and other public facilities.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season and the problem has been aggravated in some places by deforestation, with prolonged torrential rain causing flooding in some areas of the archipelago nation.

A landslide and floods swept away dozens of houses and destroyed a hotel near Lake Toba on Sumatra in December, killing at least two people.

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