Indonesia floods trigger landslides killing at least seven people

Landslides and floods from torrential rains on Indonesia's Sumatra island killed at least seven people and displaced thousands, the country's disaster agency has said.

Large areas of Central Tapanuli district in North Sumatra province were inundated with up to 8ft of water after rivers burst their banks shortly after midnight, said Agus Wibowo, spokesperson for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

He said rescuers have recovered five bodies that were buried when the monsoon rains triggered a landslide in Andam Dewi village. They also found two more bodies of villagers who were swept away by flash floods.

Thousands of people were involved in the rescue effort, but distribution of aid was hampered by power cuts, blocked roads and the large distance between disaster-hit areas, local disaster agency official Agus Haryanto said.

More than 2,000 people have been forced to leave their flooded homes, Mr Haryanto said.

Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods and kill dozens each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.