Flood submerges 444 homes in Simalungun, N Sumatra

Simalungun, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - A flood submerged 104 homes and affected 444 people in Serbelawan village, Simalungun District, North Sumatra Province, following incessant heavy rains.

"The flood waters came very fast, it was like a flash. We did not have time to save our belongings," Poniman, a local resident, said here, Saturday.

Reaching a height of up to three meters, the flood waters damaged several homes, places of worship, school buildings and other public facilities.

Deputy District Head of Simalungun Amran Sinaga and Head of the Simalungun Police Office Adjunct Senior Commissioner ML Pandjaitan visited the flooded areas.

Amran expressed concern over the natural disaster that hit Dolok Batu Nanggar sub-district.

The local authorities have set up emergency tents and a public kitchen and distributed relief aid that included rice.

Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on the public to stay vigilant as several regions in Indonesia are experiencing severe weather lately.

"I call on the public to stay vigilant because the weather is very extreme," Jokowi told the media on Saturday.

Severe weather has triggered strong wind, heavy rains, and high sea waves.

The Head of State has instructed his relevant officials, particularly the personnel of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), the National Police (Polri), the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), and regional administrations, to anticipate the disaster and be ready to provide assistance to the public when needed.

"I have ordered the BNPB, TNI, Polri, Basarnas, concerned ministries, and regional administrations to be vigilant and help the public in case of any disaster. We have to anticipate the impacts of extreme weather, particularly on food production," he stated.

So far, there have been no reports on the weathers impact on crop production; however, anticipation should be intensified.

"This is just December, there will be January," he said, referring to the peak of rainy season which falls in January and February.

Source: ANTARA News

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