Floods, landslides hit Batam

Batam, Sumatra (Antara News) - Incessant rains that have been falling in Batam since Sunday, triggered floods and landslides in the region on Tuesday.

The floods inundated industrial and settlement areas in Batam. Some 500 families from Kampung Aceh (settlement of Acehnese) opposite the Batamindo Industrial zone, Mukakuning, had evacuated themselves to safer areas.

Landslides from a hilly area blocked roads in several areas between Telaga Punggur Harbor and Simpang Kabil as well as Tanjung Piayu.

In Kampung Berlian, Batam Center, about 200 houses were inundated with the water levels reaching up to 2 m while one electricity pole collapsed.

Up to Tuesday noon, there were no reports of casualties in the disaster.

The access road to the Ilham Karya Mandiri industrial zone was covered by water as high as one meter. The floods also inundated a number of roads in the Batuaji area.

The head of the Batam meteorology and geophysics office, Herry Santoso, had warned people living near hilly areas to be on alert to possible landslides.

Batam was hit by serious floods respectively in 2004 and 2006, which killed two persons.

Indonesia is currently entering the rainy season which arrived belatedly due to an El Nino-induced drought. In early December this year, some parts of Aceh province were also flooded due to incessant rains. Solok, West Sumatra, was hit by landslides last Friday (Dec. 15) which killed 18 people.(*)
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