Floods, landslides leave 21 dead in Indonesia
Jakarta, June 26 (DPA) Flash floods and landslides swept through villages in South Kalimantan on the Indonesian side of Borneo, leaving at least 21 people dead and 20 missing, officials said Monday.
The floods occurred early Sunday after several days of incessant rains, which caused rivers in three different districts of South Kalimantan to overflow, sweeping away dozens of homes and inundating thousands of others, officials said.
At least 21 people were confirmed dead and 20 were reported missing and feared dead in the disaster, the latest tragedy to afflict Indonesia in recent weeks. Hundreds of residents have been left homeless in the disaster.
According to Hadi Susilo, an official at the disaster task force in the provincial capital of Banjarmasin, the floods and landslides hit the Kotabaru, Tanah Laut and Tanah Bumbu districts, and took place when locals were asleep, so the victims were unable to escape.
The Hampang sub-district of Kotabaru regency was the worst-hit area, with most of the fatalities reported from the region, Susilo was quoted as saying by the state-run Antara news agency.
Meanwhile, rescue workers in the South Sulawesi province continued their search for many residents still missing a week after severe flash floods and landslides left at least 285 people confirmed dead and several unaccounted for.
Marine Captain Edi Budiansyah, spokesman for the navy base in the provincial capital of Makassar, said a navy ship would be sent to the nearby disaster area to help search for possible bodies that may have drifted to sea.
The floods and landslides swept through at least seven districts in South Sulawesi province, about 1,400 km northeast of Jakarta, on June 20 following two days of torrential rain.
Flash floods and landslides have long plagued Indonesia and have increased in frequency in recent years. Environmentalists say repeated disasters have occurred largely because of rampant deforestation.