Indonesia – Floods Displace Thousands in Sumatra, 1 Dead in Aceh

At least one person has died and thousands have evacuated their homes after floods and landslides on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Severe flooding has also affected wide areas of Malaysia on the other side of the Malacca Strait.

Floods in East Aceh, Indonesia, January 2022. Photo: BPBD East Aceh Regency


Disaster management authorities reported severe flooding and landslides in the province of Aceh in the north of Sumatra Island after heavy rain from 30 December and the overflow of Krueng Peutoe, Krueng Keureuto, Sepanjang, and Langsa Rivers. The city of Lhokseumawe recorded 149 mm of rain in 24 hours to 30 December 2021.

The regencies of East Aceh, North Aceh and Aceh Tamiang were all affected, along with areas in Langsa City. As of 03 January 2022, a total of 67,871 people were affected, 19,947 displaced and 17,646 homes damaged. One fatality was reported in East Aceh Regency.

North Sumatra

Meanwhile the government of Padang Lawas Regency in North Sumatra province has declared a state of emergency after floods in Batang Lubu Sutam district late on 31 December 2021. Around 350 people were affected and 70 homes damaged across 15 villages.

Medan City, capital of North Sumatra, recorded 88 mm of rain in 24 hours to 30 December 2021.

South and West Sumatra

Elsewhere heavy rain caused rivers to overflow in in Ogan Komering Ulu Regency in South Sumatra on 31 December, affecting around 500 residents. Heavy rainfall and overflowing of Batang Kapur River, along with unstable soil conditions caused flooding and landslides in Limapuluh Kota Regency in West Sumatra on 01 January 2022. Around 174 people were affected and 34 homes damaged.

Flood damage in Padang Lawas Regency, Indonesia, January 2022. Photo: BNPB