Indonesia flood toll rises to 148

In Asia, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

JAKARTA, Sunday 10 October 2010 (AFP) – The death toll from flash floods that struck a remote region of eastern Indonesia last week climbed to at least 148 Sunday, with more than a hundred people still missing, an official said.

Rescue workers were still searching for survivors from the floods that hit West Papua province’s Teluk Wondama district last Monday following torrential downpours, Disaster Management Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono told AFP.

“At least 148 people were killed. About 123 people are still missing and the chances of them being found alive is slim. They could have been buried under rocks or swept to the sea,” he said.

About 700 people were injured, 172 badly, Kardono said.

Those killed had reportedly drowned and been swept away by the powerful waters along with uprooted trees, rocks and debris.

Experts warned such events will become more common in the archipelago due to a combination of climate change, land conversion and logging, which can contribute to landslides and flash floods after monsoonal downpours.

Indonesia’s climatology agency said most parts of Indonesia had experienced torrential rains, strong winds, high waves and flooding due to extreme weather this year.

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