Emergency aid has started arriving on Indonesia’s Sumatra island after floods and landslides left nearly half a million people displaced. More than a hundred people are confirmed dead and hundreds are still missing. Heavy rain continues to fall hampering relief and adding to the misery of the survivors and the displaced.
It follows days of torrential downpour which regularly causes landslides and flash floods in the sprawling archipaeligo, where millions of people live in mountainous areas or in the flood plains. Authorities blame deforestation, saying the lack of adequate forest cover leaves the ground unable to absorb excess water. More medicines and mosquito nets are needed according to aid organisations.
Neighbouring Malaysia has also been hard hit with tens of thousands of people driven from their homes and more than a dozen dead.