Floods hit Sumatra, force ten of thousands flee their houses  


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December 23, 2006
 JAKARTA (JP): Floods hit a number of provinces on Sumatara Island, killing a number of people and forcing tens of thousands of others to flee their houses, which have been inundated or damaged by the flooding. The number of casualties and other people, who are being affected by the flood, is still uncertain because officials in respected administrations are still waiting for information from remote areas. Aceh province was the severest province. The natural disaster hit seven regencies and cities, killing five people and forcing at least 70,000 people have to leave their houses. An official in the Aceh provincial administration called the flood as the second worst natural disaster after the Tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, which killed more than 200,000 people, damaging major parts of buildings and infrastructures there. "Land transportation from Aceh to North Sumatra has paralyzed because water has inundated road sections up to one meter high from the ground," Secretary to the Aceh provincial administrationHusni Bahri Ton was quoted by Antara news agency as saying Saturday. A similar condition also was also seen in North Sumatra, which was also reportedly killed a number of people after they were carried away by the water. Meanwhile, in Riau province, floods also hit six regencies: Rokan Hulu, Rokan Hilir, Indragiri Hulu, Kuantan Singingi, Pelelawan and Kampar. The Riau provincial administration had increased the status of the natural disaster into the highest level after inundations were spreading into wider areas. Wan Darlis Ilyas, an official, which is in charge to handle the flood in Riau, said the worse inundation occurred in Rokan Hulu regency with water level reached three meters high from the ground. "Our post are standby for 24 houses. We are ready to be deployed (to help flood victims) any time," Wan Darwis was quoted as saying, adding that assistance have been distributed to regencies hit by the floods.