Indonesia – Deadly Floods and Landslides in West Papua; Floods Affect Thousands in Sumatra

Heavy rainfall has taken its toll in western and eastern parts of Indonesia over the last few days. At least 3 people have died in floods and landslides in West Papua Province on New Guinea Island, while flooding in provinces of Sumatra Island has affected over 35,000 people.

Floods in Sorong City, West Papua Province, Indonesia, 22 August 2022. Photo: BPBD Sorong City

West Papua Province, Indonesia

Torrential rain from 21 August 2022 caused flooding and landslides in several sub-districts of Sorong City in West Papua Province. Almost 600 mm of rain fell in the city from 21 to 24 August 2022, with 90 mm falling in just 3 hours on 23 August.

Disaster authorities reported 3 people died when a house was buried by a landslide in Sorong City. Six people were seriously injured and four people suffered minor injuries. Flooding has also affected wide areas, with a reported 1,025 homes damaged. Around 2,000 people have evacuated their homes and moved to relief camps and or to stay with friends or relatives.

As of 25 August, disaster authorities including the Sorong City Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) were still evacuating some residents, as well as distributing relief supplies, working on clean-up operations and carrying out damage assessments.

Sumatra Island, Indonesia

Heavy rainfall affected Sumatra Island, Indonesia, from 17 August 2022 causing floods and landslides. Affected areas included Bengkulu City in Bengkulu Province, and Deli Serdang and Asahan Regencies and Binjai and Medan cities in North Sumatra Province.

As much as 154 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 20 August in Bengkulu City, causing floods which affected over 5,000 people. on the same day flooding struck areas of Asahan Regency and Binjai City in North Sumatra Province, affecting over 9,000 people.

Earlier flooding struck parts of Medan City on 18 August, damaging over 6,000 buildings and affecting over 25,000 residents. Around the same time flooding was also reported in Deli Serdang Regency, with over 2,500 people affected.