Indonesia records surge in number of deaths in landslides hinh anh 1A landslide site in Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra province, Indonesia (Photo: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) – At least 22 people have died and many are missing in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain in western Indonesia, the country’s national disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said on October 13.

Heavy downpours since October 10 have led to flooding and landslides that hit 24 villages in Mandailing Natal, North Sumatra province. 

Search and rescue efforts are underway but have been hampered by the landslides in several areas.

BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said aside from human losses, floods and landslides have also damaged many houses and infrastructure and washed away a vast area of crops.

Indonesia has suffered continuous disasters recently.

The devastating earthquakes in Central Sulawesi province on September 28 killed at least 2,073 and injured 10,679 others while another 671 remain unaccounted for.

Indonesia is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the "Ring of Fire", an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In February this year, 12 people died when an avalanche of mud and rock cascaded down a steep slope in central Java, Indonesia's main island.  In June 2016, nearly 50 people died when heavy downpours sent torrents of water, mud and rock into villages also in Central Java province.

In 2004, a substantial earthquake off the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami across the Indian Ocean, killing 220,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 168,000 in Indonesia.–VNA