Indonesian flash floods kill 38

AT least 38 people have been killed in flash floods in a remote region of Indonesia’s North Sumatra province.

The early morning flood hit in the remote coastal district of Mandailing Natal 275km southwest of the provincial capital Medan, government official Edy Syopian said.

“Our latest information from the local district head is that 38 bodies have been found so far,” he said.

“Our main priority is to rescue the survivors. The flash floods hit six villages with about 2200 residents,” he said.

Powerful waters uprooted trees and smashed through houses in the district, which has largely been cut off, Mr Syopian said.

“The rescue process is difficult because the two bridges … to the villages collapsed,” he said.

“The other way to reach the affected area is by sea using speed boats but strong weather … is making that difficult.”

Health Ministry crisis centre head Rustam Pakaya said a rescue team had been sent to the flood-hit area but was not expected to arrive until the evening.

Floods and landslides are common in Indonesia, which is densely populated and prone to frequent heavy rains.

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