Jan 30, 2019

Severe Floods Claim 70 Lives on Indonesian Island

The severe floods and landslides are common on Sulawesi during monsoon season

Indonesian island faces severe floods and landslides
Indonesian island faces severe floods and landslides

At least 70 people have died on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi due to severe floods and landslides. Nearly 9,500 people are taking refuge emergency shelters while search teams continue to look for missing people, according to the Straits Times.

Heavy rain caused rivers to overflow and a dam to break across 12 districts and parts of the provincial capital Makassar. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged as a result of the extreme weather, with floodwaters finally beginning to recede. The island will remain under a state of emergency until at least Feb. 6.

According to The New York Times, more than 5,000 homes have been submerged and thousands of acres of rice paddies have been lost. Additional infrastructure such as  bridges, schools and churches have been damaged as well.

Some people have begun returning to their homes as the floodwaters recede but many residents are staying in shelters, rendering a need for emergency supplies. On the island of Sulawesi and throughout Indonesia, landslides and floods are common, particularly during monsoon season which ranges from October to April. In just over half a century, the island has been subject to dozens of earthquakes, landslides, floods, tsunamis and volcanic activity, reported The New York Times.