Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - Six people died as flash floods and a landslide hit certain areas in Riau Province, Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency's (BPBD's) Acting Head Edwar Sanger stated at a meeting in Pekanbaru, Riau's capital, on Friday.

The landslide buried two of the dead victims, while four others died due to the flash floods inundating certain areas in the districts of Rokan Hulu and Kuantan Singingi, he remarked.

According to Sanger, the floods inundated the areas of 216 villages in the districts of Rokan Hulu, Kampar, Pelalawan, Kuantan Singingi, Indragiri Hulu, and Rokan Hilir, thereby affecting 8,798 houses.

Due to the grave nature of such natural disasters, the district governments of Kampar, Rokan Hulu, Pelalawan, and Indragiri Hulu had issued an emergency alert status in response to the threats of floods and landslides until the end of this year, he remarked.

The Riau provincial administration had also declared an emergency alert status in effect from Dec 20 to Dec 31, 2019.

In assisting those in dire need of humanitarian aid, the Riau BPBD distributed food and medicine supplies, established public kitchens, and evacuated villagers, whose homes were inundated by the floodwaters, to safer places.

At least 25,133 families, or around 62,630 people, were affected by the floods and landslide, most of whom are in the districts of Kuantan Singingi and Kampar, he stated.

During the rainy season, certain parts of Riau are prone to flooding and landslides while during the dry season, wildfires continue to recurrently ravage this province.

In August this year, Riau and several other provinces in the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan were blanketed by haze arising from land and forest fires. Consequently, the air quality deteriorated in Pekanbaru and several other districts in Riau Province.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), at least 1,136 residents of Pekanbaru ailed from upper respiratory tract infections following exposure to haze arising from forest fires raging in the province's several districts.

All community health posts in Pekanbaru were notified to be prepared to deliver optimal services to patients suffering from respiratory ailments. Related news: Floods submerge 1,070 houses in Bengkalis, Riau
Related news: Floods submerge 700 houses in Rokan Hulu, Riau


Translator: FB Anggoro, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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