The emergency alert status is in effect from Dec 20 to Dec 31, 2019
Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - The Riau provincial administration declared an emergency alert status over the ongoing threats of flood and landslide in several districts that affected tens of thousands of local residents.

The provincial government's secretary, Yan Prana, announced the emergency alert status at a meeting with related authorities, including representatives of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency and National Search and Rescue Agency (BNPB), on Friday.

"The emergency alert status is in effect from Dec 20 to Dec 31, 2019," he stated at the meeting, also attended by representatives of the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency, Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency, as well as the police and military.

The status was issued to enable the regional government, currently challenged by limited financial resources, to facilitate those impacted by this year-end's natural disaster, in receiving the central government’s assistance through the BNPB.

BNPB Director for Equipment Rustian supported the Riau provincial government's decision since the emergency alert status would clear the way for the central government's assistance.

"The BNPB has emergency funds that may be used for assisting the affected survivors," he remarked, adding that the regional governments should work with local community members and media workers to unearth the causes of the disaster and best-possible solutions to the problem.

In the meantime, the Pekanbaru-based Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency has forecast that high-density rains could being received until early 2020.

The flash floods and a landslide ravaging certain areas in Riau Province had claimed six lives, Acting Head of the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Edwar Sanger remarked.

Two of the dead victims were buried by a landslide, while four others died due to the flash floods inundating certain areas in the districts of Rokan Hulu and Kuantan Singingi, he stated.

Sanger noted that floods inundated the areas of 216 villages in the districts of Rokan Hulu, Kampar, Pelalawan, Kuantan Singingi, Indragiri Hulu, and Rokan Hilir, and affected 8,798 houses.

In assisting those in dire need of humanitarian assistance, the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency distributed food and medicine supplies, established public kitchens, and evacuated villagers, whose houses were submerged by floodwaters, to safer locations.

The floods and landslide affected at least 25,133 families, or some 62,630 people, with most in the districts of Kuantan Singingi and Kampar, he revealed.

During the rainy season, certain parts of Riau are susceptible to flooding and landslide, while during the dry season, wildfires ravage this province frequently.

Translator: FB Anggoro, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2019