Deadly Indonesian flooding kills 13

09 November 2012 - 15:34 By Sapa
Floods. File picture.
Floods. File picture.

The number of people killed after days of torrential rain triggered a landslide and flash floods on Indonesia's Sulawesi island has climbed to 13 with four others missing, police and disaster officials say.

Kain Lotong Sembe, who heads the disaster management agency in Mamasa district of West Sulawesi province, said rescuers recovered three more bodies Friday and revised downward the number missing to at least four after some of the initially reported 20 missing were found alive.

Residents and rescuers in Batanguru, a village in a hilly corner of Mamasa district, used their hands to dig through mud to search for relatives, said local police chief Capt. Yuslim Yunus.

He said the landslide blocked a river Thursday, causing it to burst over its banks and wash away seven houses.

"Many people didn't have time to save themselves," said Yunus, adding the isolated mountainous area and limited telephone connections were hampering rescue efforts.

Ten victims were recovered late Thursday after they drowned or were buried by mud. More than a dozen other people hospitalized with cuts and broken bones, he said.

Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and flash floods in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.