July 30, 2013.
Floods swept away 31 houses, leaving eight dead and five others missing in villages around Ambon, Maluku, on Monday as the province’s torrential rainy season continued.
Monday’s heavy rains triggered floods and landslides in several villages around Ambon, burying homes and sending relief crews scrambling. The bodies of eight residents had been found by Tuesday. Local residents had identified six of them.
The landslides came less than a week after a prolonged downpour caused an earthen dam to collapse in Central Maluku, killing one and causing thousands to evacuate low-lying villages.
Disaster crews were still working to repair the dam when disaster struck Ambon, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said on Tuesday.
“While the mitigation efforts for the dam collapse in Central Maluku are ongoing, torrential rains that have been falling since Monday night triggered floods and landslides in Ambon,” Sutopo said.
Heavy rains will continue to fall on Maluku until the end of August, when the province’s regional rainy season draws to a close. Maluku’s rainy season peaks in late July and early August, and is affected by local weather patterns, not the Australian winds that drive the nation’s general rainy season, Sutopo said.