Death toll from Indonesia's floods, landslides climbs to 31

An aerial photo shows Bengkulu hit by flood caused by heavy rain on the island of Sumatra, Indonesian, April 28, 2019. A total of 12 people were killed, eight others went missing and almost 15,000 people took shelters as floods and landslides hit the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and Bengkulu province in western parts of the country, disaster official said on Sunday. (Xinhua/Kristian)

JAKARTA -- The death toll from floods and landslides in Indonesia's western Bengkulu province and the capital of Jakarta jumped to 31 on Monday, while the search for 13 missing people was underway, disaster agency officials said.

Floods and landslides have struck Bengkulu province since Friday, although the water has receded, disaster agency official warned people to exercise caution as further torrential rains are expected.

In Indonesia's capital of Jakarta, the floods have started receding, it said.

The death toll in the province rose to 29 on Monday, Abdul Rohman, head of data and information of the provincial disaster management agency, told Xinhua.

More than 12,000 people are taking shelters as the floods and landslides destroyed 184 houses, seven educational facilities, and 40 others infrastructure facilities, including roads, bridges, water channels and facilities in the province, said Rohman.

Tents, rubber boats, fast foods, clean waters, baby foods, bailey bridges and reconnecting transportation are among the dire needs, he added.

The disaster has damaged transport infrastructure and cut off electricity which has hampered communication and distribution of aids to affected areas, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster management agency.

"It is difficult to reach affected-areas as all the roads to the impacted areas are totally cut off. Distribution of aids is hampered," Sutopo said.

"The people are urged to keep on alert as the rains with high intensity are expected to pour down in Indonesia," the spokesman added.

Yusuf Latief, head of communication for media of national search and rescue office, said that a search operation was conducted in the affected areas.

"The operation is prioritized in the impacted areas whose communities reported that there are people missing," he said.

"Rubber boats and other equipment are being deployed to support the mission," Yusuf said.

Indonesia has been frequently hit by floods and landslides during heavy downpours. (Xinhua)

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