A search and rescue team has rescued 17 school students who went missing after a flash flood inundated a school building in Muara Saladi village in Mandailing Natal regency, North Sumatra on Friday afternoon.
A statement from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency on Saturday also revealed that 12 other students of the inundated SD 235 state elementary school were found dead by the joint rescue team. All the victims were under 12 years old.
Apart from the students, the team also found and rescued two teachers. All of the survivors were found either under the rubble of buildings or dragged away by the flood.
Seven of the 17 surviving students suffered injuries and are currently receiving treatment at nearby community health centers (Puskesmas).
As of Saturday night, authorities had recorded a total of 17 people killed during the flash flood in the regency. Apart from the school students, there were three sewer workers in Muara Batang Gadis district and another two people, a police officer and a bank official, who died after a vehicle they were in fell into the overflowing Aek Saladi river.
The statement also mentioned that the regent of Mandailing Natal had declared a seven-day state of emergency for the flood and landslide. The regency and provincial disaster mitigation agency are handling the disaster emergency response measures in coordination with other authorities, such as the military and police.
Floods and landslides also hit a number of other areas in North and West Sumatra as a result of hard rain over the last several days during the transition period into the rainy season.
Four people, a woman and her two children and a nephew, died in a landslide in Sibolga city while two people, a husband and wife, died in Simalungun regency after being swept away by a flash flood.
Source: Jakarta Post
Photo courtesy of Associated Press