Flash flooding and landslides were reported in North Sumatra province and West Sumatra province on the afternoon (local time) of Friday, October 12, which have resulted in the deaths of at least 27 people as of Saturday, October 13, and have left several others missing. The village of Muara Saladi (Mandailing Natal regency, North Sumatra province) has reported the highest death toll, with 11 schoolchildren reportedly killed. Over 500 homes have been damaged by the flooding in North Sumatra and West Sumatra provinces; several roads and at least three suspension bridges have also been damaged, complicating ongoing evacuations and search-and-rescue operations in affected areas. Authorities in North Sumatra and West Sumatra provinces have declared a weeklong emergency relief period in response.
Further forecast rainfall in affected areas may lead to further flooding and landslides over the coming days. Lingering transportation disruptions are to be expected in North Sumatra province and West Sumatra province in the near-term.
Floods and landslides are common in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season, which lasts from October to April.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding and landslides, confirm road conditions prior to setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that walking or driving through floodwaters can be dangerous; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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