6 killed as landslides, massive tidal waves hit Manado city

Residents of Manado running away from a massive tidal wave on Jan. 17, 2021. Photo: Video screengrab
Residents of Manado running away from a massive tidal wave on Jan. 17, 2021. Photo: Video screengrab

At least 6 people were killed and 500 others were evacuated from their homes in the North Sulawesi capital of Manado, which was hit with a deadly extreme weather combo over the weekend.

On Saturday, torrential rain poured on the city, triggering floods and landslides. As of Sunday, officials say six people were killed, including three members of a family of four, who were at home when mud collapsed on top of it.

More than 500 people affected by the landslides were evacuated to temporary shelters, and officials said today that they have begun returning to their homes.

On Sunday, with the city still reeling from its loss from the previous day, massive tidal waves smashed inland and terrified residents. One dramatic footage from the incident has gone viral, showing people running for dear life from the massive waves, which, among others, flooded a shopping mall situated by the coast.


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The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said yesterday’s waves, which reached up to 4 meters in height, were the result of low air pressure over the Celebes Sea north of the city and unusually strong winds in the area amid extreme weather.

No casualties were reported from the tidal waves and reports on damage have yet to be published. BMKG says the area may experience high tide in the coming days but it’s unlikely that the waves, as terrifying as they look, would get even taller and become destructive. As such, the agency has advised the public to stay put and keep up to date with weather reports.

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