Medan inundated after heavy rain

JP/Apriadi Gunawan

 

Flood waters inundated many parts of Medan on Sunday after torrential rain swept across North Sumatra’s provincial capital over the weekend.

Waters inundated hundreds of houses in residential areas and several major thoroughfares in the city, including Merdeka Square, Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Imam Bonjol, Jl. Gatot Subroto, Jl. Thamrin, Jl. Sei Padang and Jl. AR Hakim, causing traffic congestion.

The worst cases reported included floods in Medan Baru, Medan Selayang, Medan Johor and Medan Maimun districts, in which thousands of residents were forced to take shelter.

Religious activities at some houses of worship, including Gunung Timur vihara on Jl. Hang Tuah and the Protestant church in the Padangbulan housing compound, were canceled.

According to the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), the rain had caused water levels in basin areas to rise rapidly, while the drainage system was overwhelmed.

Medan Mayor Dzulmi Eldin apologized to residents, acknowledging that the floods were partly caused by the dysfunctional drainage system.

“We are repairing the drainage system, but it hasn’t been completed. I apologize on behalf of the Medan administration,” he said during an inspection on Sunday.

Dzulmi said the administration would also prioritize normalizing clogged rivers.

BPBD coordinator M Yunus said the agency had established a number of shelters to accommodate thousands of evacuees.

He also warned that it might take some time until the water receded as the wet weather lingered.

“We will be on standby,” he said.

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