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Nearly 370,000 without shelter after floods ravage Indonesia's Aceh

Nearly 370,000 without shelter after floods ravage Indonesia's Aceh

Emergency workers struggled Wednesday to feed and shelter nearly 370,000 people displaced by severe flooding in Indonesia's Aceh province, the region worst-hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami.
The latest natural disaster in the world's most populous Muslim country has killed at least 69 people, while another 196 were missing after several meters (yards) of water inundated parts of the northwestern island over the weekend, officials said Wednesday.
The flooding followed several days of heavy seasonal rain, the cause of dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands, where millions of people live in mountainous areas or in fertile flood plains.
Television footage showed people wading through shoulder-high water, standing on rooftops or paddling boats to dry land.
Food and medicine were being flown by helicopter to six northern and eastern districts of Sumatra island where an estimated 1,400 homes were submerged. In the hard-hit area of Tamiyang in the east, torrential water washed away roads and bridges.
The water receded in some areas by Wednesday, leaving behind deep mud. People started clearing out their homes and businesses in some villages, but others remained stranded in surrounding hills.
Earlier reports put the death toll closer to 100, but an Acehenese disaster tack force official, Suwarno Amin, said Wednesday those figures were probably too high. Suwarno also denied local media reports that 500 bodies had been found.
Aceh was the region worst hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami, but this week's flooding was in areas unaffected by that disaster.
In June, severe flooding and landslides killed more than 210 people on Sulawesi island.


Updated : 2021-05-11 06:04 GMT+08:00