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Indonesia: Over dozen killed in Sulawesi flood

May 4, 2024

Over 1,000 houses have been affected by flooding and landslides, with 42 of them being swept off their foundations.

Rescuers carry a victim of a flood in Wajo, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
At least 14 people have died in the flash flood and landslide in SulawesiImage: BPBD Wajo/AP/picture alliance

At least 14 people died in a flood and landslide that hit Indonesia's Sulawesi island, officials said on Saturday.

Torrential rainfall has been pounding the region since Thursday, triggering a landslide in the Luwu district of the South Sulawesi province, according to local rescue chief Mexianus Bekabel.

Floods of up to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) covered 13 sub-districts in water and mud. Over 1,000 houses were affected, and 42 of them were swept off their foundations, officials said. 

What is being done?

Search and rescue officials worked to evacuate residents from their homes using rubber boats and other vehicles. 

In this photo released by the Wajo Regional Disaster Management Agency, rescuers carry people affected by a flood in Wajo, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Over 1,300 families have been affected by the floodsImage: BPBD Wajo/AP/picture alliance

Over 100 people were moved to mosques or relatives' houses outside the flooded area, National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said Saturday.

Water levels have started to recede in some areas, the agency said.

Floods and landslides caused by seasonal downpours are common in Indonesia. In April, over 20 people died in Tana Toraja district of South Sulawesi province. In March, at least 26 people died in flash floods and landslides on Indonesia's Sumatra island. 

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mk/sms (Reuters, AP)