Manokwari, W Papua (ANTARA) - A landslide that buried Pahlawan Road of Manokwari, the capital of West Papua Province, on Monday, uprooted several trees that hit two motorists passing the road, thereby necessitating their prompt hospitalization.

"They have been rushed to a local hospital, and their latest condition remains unknown. According to witnesses, the two motorists were hit by fallen trees," Manokwari Police Chief First Inspector Hanny Salamena notified journalists here on Monday.

The landslide of a 20-meter-high cliff near the road that occurred after the downpour, from Sunday evening to Monday morning, disrupted the movement of vehicles on the road and posed a hindrance to the electricity network, thereby resulting in a blackout.

The landslide-struck road section had temporarily been closed for vehicles to enable the local policemen and workers of state-run electricity firm PLN to clear up the debris, Salamena stated.

On Feb 24, West Papua Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Head Derek Ampnir had warned residents and authorities to remain vigilant to flash floods and landslides that could occur after torrential rains lashed several parts of the province until March.

"Referring to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency's (BMKG's) data, the rainfall will peak from February to March," Ampnir remarked.

As a precautionary measure against the risks of floods and landslides, Ampnir appealed to residents and authorities in vulnerable areas, including Manokwari, South Manokwari, Wondama Cape, Arfak Highland, and Sorong City, to be well prepared.

All necessary measures in disaster management, including prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery, should be in place to minimize the unexpected impacts of a catastrophe, he remarked.

"The risks of disasters are obvious. Warnings have also been issued. Please do not undermine the risks of disasters. We must be prepared for them," Ampnir emphasized.

The district and city disaster mitigation agencies will function at the forefront to address the risks of disasters, he stated, adding that the Arfak highland is prone to flooding and landslides, and sound coordination is the need of the hour.

In April 2019, floods, arising from a continual torrential downpour, inundated numerous homes and a school in Sorong City. A local resident named Andy admitted to parts of the city being inundated during the rainy season.

Residential areas on Jupiter and Sungai Maruni streets bore the brunt of the floods. Tens of homes on Meltai Street and an area on Sapta Taruna Street were submerged in floodwaters reaching heights of an adult's knee.

An elementary school building located on Melati Street was also swamped by the flooding.

Andy appealed to the Sorong administration to solve the problem of recurrent flooding in the city. Related news: Landslide strikes six villages in C Java's Kudus
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Translator: Toyiban, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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