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Relief Supplies Begin to Reach Some Flood Ravaged Villages in Aceh  Tapol
 Feb 29, 2012 03:54 PST 

From Joyo

February 28, 2012

Relief Supplies Begin to Reach Some
Flood Ravaged Villages in Aceh

Banda Aceh

Relief supplies began trickling in on Monday to thousands of villagers
in Aceh isolated by massive flash floods over the weekend, while a man
reported missing in the disaster was found alive.

Asmadi Syam, head of the Aceh Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBA), said
rescuers working through Sunday night had managed to reach Tangse
subdistrict in Pidie district, which was cut off by landslides and
fallen trees.

“Thankfully we’ve managed to clear an emergency route through to the
affected area and we’re now delivering relief supplies for the flood
victims in Tangse,” he said in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital.

Heavy rains in Pidie on Saturday night caused widespread flash floods
that isolated eight villages in Tangse. Thirty-seven homes were
destroyed or swept away by the floodwaters, while 287 sustained minor
to severe damage, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency

Previous reports said that one person, Tengku Idris, 55, was missing
after being swept away in the flood, but BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo
Nugroho said he was found alive.

“Idris, who was reported missing earlier, was found with minor
injuries but otherwise safe,” Sutopo said on Monday in Jakarta.

“There are also six other people who were reported injured, all of
whom are now being treated.”

In Banda Aceh, the provincial branch of the Indonesian Forum for the
Environment (Walhi) blamed the severity of the flooding and landslides
on illegal logging, which allowed the topsoil in the hilly area to
easily wash away with the rain.

T. M. Zulfikar, director of Walhi Aceh, said if illegal logging was
allowed to continue, “don’t be surprised to see even worse disasters
unfold in the future.”

“The government must reforest the areas that are in critical
condition, especially in upstream areas,” he added.

In March last year, a similar flash flood hit Tangse, killing 11
people. The flood-prone area sits inside a river basin.

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