Friday, January 25th, 2019

Indonesia floods, landslides death toll climbs to 59

Published 10:34 pm | January 25, 2019

Floods and landslides in Indonesia have now killed at least 59 people, the government said Friday, after heavy rain pounded Sulawesi island and forced thousands to flee their homes.

“I’ve never seen something this bad — this is the worst,” Syamsibar, head
of South Sulawesi disaster mitigation agency, told AFP, adding that 25 people
were still missing.

Lashed by the heavy rain, rivers swelled and burst their banks, inundating
dozens of communities in 11 districts of southern Sulawesi. Parts of the
provincial capital Makassar have also been affected.

Gowa district suffered the heaviest casualties, with 44 people found dead,
said Syamsibar, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

Some 3,400 people have been evacuated from their homes and given refuge in
schools, mosques and tents.

Rescuers and residents waded through streets filled with waist-deep water,
some carrying their possessions above their heads.

“I couldn’t save all my belongings, my house was swept away,” Makassar
resident Ayu Fiskarina told AFP.

Authorities say floodwaters are receding but the impact of the disaster
has ranged far and wide, damaging houses, government buildings, schools and
bridges.

The death toll stood at 30 on Thursday evening.

Landslides and floods are common in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rains lash the vast Southeast Asian archipelago. In October, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island.

(AFP)

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