Indonesia hit by fresh floods

Indonesia hit by fresh floods

    Officials said fear of looting had caused many to return to their flooded homes [Reuters]

     

    Heavy rains have caused further havoc in Java as rising floodwaters inundated farmland and triggered landslides on the Indonesian island.

     

    At least 112 people have been killed in widespread flooding and landslides over the past week, crisis centre officials said on Wednesday, with more than a dozen still missing.

     

    The latest flooding forced schools to close and cut off road and railway transportation in central and east Java where tens of thousands of people have been made homeless.

     

    Many victims had to seek safety on their rooftops.

     

    The Bengawan Solo river that snakes through the tourist city of Solo burst its banks on Wednesday after days of heavy downpour, causing a new wave of floods in heavily-populated Java.

     

    Aid sent

     

    A health ministry official said relief aid had been sent to flood and landslide victims.

     

    "We'll not stop until we have exhumed the last bodies

    Rustam S Pakaya, head of the ministry's crisis mitigation centre, said tonnes of food, medicine, water purifiers and mobile clinics had been airlifted and sent by rubber boats to the affected areas.

     

    He also said that despite the floods, displaced victims had begun returning home for fear of looting.

     

    Landslides and floods are frequent in Indonesia, where tropical downpours can quickly soak hillsides and years of deforestation often mean there is little vegetation to hold the soil.

     

    In Bojonegoro district in east Java, floodwaters as high as 2m submerged homes and buildings including hospitals, local officials said.

     

    Rescue workers continued to search for survivors buried under thick mud after landslides slammed into their homes following heavy rains last week.

     

    The Karang Anyar district in central Java was one of the worst hit by the rain-related disasters with about 60 deaths.

     

    Heru Pratomo, head of the disaster relief team in the district, said emergency workers would "not stop until we have exhumed the last bodies".

     

    Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the floods [Reuters]

    SOURCE: Agencies


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