Heavy rains cause flash floods in Indonesia. 11 missing

Residents and rescuers are searching for victims in the ruins of their homes after a flash flood in Batu, East Java, Indonesia on November 4, 2021. (Hendra Permana / AP Photo)

Jakarta, Indonesia — Heavy rains caused flash floods on Indonesia’s Java island on Thursday, leaving at least 11 people missing, officials said.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said the river on the slopes of Mount Arjuno flooded the embankment and flooded five villages in the East Java city of Kotabatu. Fifteen people were swept away and four were later rescued.

Agency chief Ganip Warsito said heavy rains are expected to continue and increase until February, partly due to the weather patterns in La Niña.

Achmad Choirur Rochim, head of the emergency relief department of the local disaster agency, said the rescue team is still searching for 11 missing persons. Relief efforts were hampered by power outages and blockades of roads covered with thick mud and debris.

Photos and videos released by the agency showed that the bridge was damaged and cars and homes were covered in thick mud.

Authorities are still collecting information on the potential for damage and casualties, Warsito said.

In Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands with millions of people living near mountainous areas and fertile floodplains, seasonal rains frequently cause floods and landslides.

Associated Press