Rescue team looks for toddler missing in flash flood

Rescue team looks for toddler missing in flash flood

Flash floods wrecked havoc in South Parigi district, Central Sulawesi. (ANTARA/Mohamad Hamzah)

"I have asked the Forestry Department to immediately look into the situation."
Parigi (ANTARA News) - A search and rescue (SAR) team, along with community members from the Ganges village in the South Parigi district, Central Sulawesi, are still looking for a two-year-old toddler, who has been missing since flash floods wrecked havoc in the area on Saturday, a local official said on Monday.

"The SAR team has been searching for the toddler at a disaster site in the Ganges village since 7:00 a.m. local time, using advanced equipment from the Parigi Moutong district's Department of Public Works," Ramli Borman, the head of the local chapter of the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) said.

He pointed out that the missing toddler was reportedly inside a house with his grandmother, when the area was hit by a heavy flash flood.

The toddler`s grandmother was found dead at the site and it is feared that the child himself was submerged in the flooded house.

"The SAR team is still clearing the debris that has collected in the house, which is made up of soil, other materials and logs," Borman stated.

Latest data reports one person dead, another missing and dozens of people injured during the flash flood.

Although a number of villages have been reportedly hit by the flash flood, the villages of Boyangtongo and Lemusa have experienced the worst damage.

Shelters have been built around the area to help the flood victims. The flash floods were reportedly caused by heavy rains upstream, but caused greater damage as the flooded river bore down a lot of big timber into the area.

Parigi Mountong`s deputy district Chief Kemas Toana also noted that the flash flood has been more damaging because of the large timber that the swollen river dragged towards the residential areas, and it is possible that illegal logging activities are taking place upstream.

"I have asked the Forestry Department to immediately look into the situation," he said.

Data also suggests that the flash floods have reportedly rendered around 1,424 people homeless, and they are currently taking refuge in evacuation posts that have been set up in the area.