Ternate, North Maluku (ANTARA) - A search and rescue team was formed in Ternate, North Maluku, to find a seven-year-old who was presumably dragged away by a strong water current while playing with friends amid heavy rains on Tuesday.

The team comprised members of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the military and police force, and local people.

Head of Ternate's Basarnas, Muhammad Arafah, informed that they were inspecting a flooded area on a dry riverbed in Malikrubu on the second day of the search.

The missing boy’s friend said he was last seen at that spot, according to a report.

The missing boy was identified as Firman Wandy, a resident of Malikrubu, Ternate city, Arafah said. The efforts to find him are still ongoing, he added.

Apart from searching on land, the team also expedited their search in the sea by dispatching inflatable boats to examine the shores of Ternate city.

The boy reportedly went missing around 12.30 p.m. local time on Tuesday while playing with three of his friends around the neighborhood, which is situated next to the dried riverbed, Arafah informed. At that time, it was raining heavily, causing the river to be flooded again, he added.

Based on the accounts of Wandy’s friends, the last time they saw him was when he was trying to cross the river. However, the flow of the water was too strong, and he has not been seen since.

The friends returned to inform Wandy's family of the incident. Afterward, the family and the authorities searched the riverbed for the child until evening, but without results.

Further, on Tuesday, two people were reported dead after being dragged by a strong current of water following high-intensity rain in the city for almost the whole day.

Chief of the North Ternate Police Department, First Inspector Suherman, informed that an elderly man, Munawir Suleman, 60, was swept by the flood all the way to the shores of Sasa Beach. He was already dead when the locals found him.

On the same day, a toddler, M. Dafi, 3.4 years old, was found lying in a ditch in Kalumpang village, Ternate city.

Dafi was immediately rushed to the general hospital for medical treatment, however, he could not be saved. The family buried him at the Ternate Masjid's Muslim graveyard.

Related news: Missing East Sumba fisherman found dead
Related news: SAR team seeks child victim dragged by sea currents
Related news: Nine fishermen reported missing in Pasir Island waters

Translator: Abdul Fatah, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2022