Nur Janti, Jakarta – Heavy rainfall over the past few days has caused flooding and landslides in several areas of South Sumatra and Riau, killing at least two people and affecting hundreds of others.
Flooding occurred in five districts in the South Sumatra city of Palembang on Saturday, when the Musi River overflowed its banks that morning as a result of a heavy downpour.
Two people were killed during the flooding, one by drowning and another by electrocution, according to the Palembang Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD).
A 47-year-old woman drowned after she was swept away and into a canal by floodwaters as she was trying to pass a flooded road on her motorcycle in Palembang, local police said as reported by Kompas.id. Her body was found in the canal around 30 meters from where she had fallen in.
The other victim was a 50-year-old man, whose dead body was found near the electrical panel of a water pump in his flooded house. Authorities believed he was killed by a fatal electric shock while he was trying to switch off the water pump.
BPBD Palembang reported that the floodwaters receded later that day and that no residents had left their homes to seek shelter elsewhere.
In neighboring Lahat regency, heavy overnight rains caused a landslide in Jati village on Friday, cutting off the regency's main access road to the city of Pagar Alam.
Meanwhile, torrential rains in Rokan Hulu and Indragiri Hulu regencies in Riau province caused two rivers to overflow their banks on Saturday, inundating houses and streets in nearby areas.
Local authorities reported that 1,439 residents were affected by the flood in Rokan Hulu, some of whom were evacuated. Floodwaters began to recede in some areas on Saturday night, while other areas remained inundated.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has warned of potential extreme weather in some parts of Indonesia from late December to January.
Last week in West Java, heavy downpours caused flooding in Sumedang and Bandung regencies and a landslide in Garut regency.
The flood in Bandung affected a total of 954 families, the majority in Rancaekek district.