Death toll from Indonesian floods, landslides climbs to 59

JAKARTA: The number of people killed after days of torrential rain triggered flash floods and landslides on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island has climbed to 59 with 25 others missing, a disaster official said on Friday.

Rescuers recovered more bodies as floodwaters and rainfall subsided in several areas, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman. He said 45 people died in floods and 14 others in landslides.

Operators at the overwhelmed Bili Bili rock-fill embankment dam were forced to release water late Tuesday, which contributed to flooding but avoided a worse disaster.

Houses of more than 6,500 residents in thirteen districts and cities in the province including capital Makassar have been affected by flooding, forcing more than 3,000 people to flee.

Rescuers are still searching for 25 people, while 47 others have been hospitalised.

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

A landslide in Sukabumi on the country’s most populous island of Java earlier this month killed 32 people.


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