Indonesia floods claim 19 lives
THE death toll from a series of landslides and flash floods in Indonesia climbed to 19 yesterday, an official said, including several children found by rescuers scouring for survivors.
The worst-hit region was the west of Indonesia’s main island of Java, where torrential downpours in Garut saw floodwaters quickly rise to 2 metres (6.5 feet), national disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
“The official report [from Garut] ... is that 19 people were killed and eight others are still missing,” he said.
Among the dead were an eightmonth-old toddler and four children under the age of 10, Mr Sutopo added, citing a casualty report from the local disaster agency in Garut.
More than 1000 people have been forced from their homes in the district by rising waters and are taking shelter in nearby emergency tents set up by search and rescue teams.
Elsewhere in West Java, the death toll from a landslide in the Sumedang region rose to three, with one other person still believed missing beneath an avalanche of mud and rock.
The landslide left two others injured and destroyed a mosque, besides displacing residents, Mr Sutopo added.
Landslides and flooding are common in Indonesia, a vast tropical archipelago prone to natural disasters and torrential downpours.
This handout picture released by Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) yesterday shows soldiers clearing debris with affected villagers in Garut after torrential downpours triggered flash floods and landslides in the region.