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Death toll from Indonesia floods, landslides climbs to 26

22 September 2016 15:56



The death toll from a series of recent landslides and flash floods in western Indonesia has reached 26, officials say.

According to a statement by head of Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei on Thursday, hopes are disappearing for 19 other people who have gone missing.

Following heavy rain late Tuesday, 23 people were killed and 18 others went missing in the Garut district of the West Java Province due to a raging flood.

Three other people lost their lives and one went missing in the Sumedang district in the same province when an avalanche of mud flattened some homes in a village.

On Wednesday, officials had announced a lower death toll but said they expected the figure to rise. BNPB said over a dozen children, under the age of 12, were among the dead or missing.

An Indonesian search and rescue team along with soldiers use heavy machinery to remove debris from an area hit by a landslide in Sumedang, Indonesia, September 21, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Relief teams and army personnel have already been deployed to Grunt and Sumedang, and rescue workers are searching for the missing.

Temporary shelters and makeshift kitchens have also been set up to help the over 400 people who have gone homeless in the wake of the floods and landslides.

“There is plenty of food and clean water available. The community is also helping out,” Rampangilei, the national disaster management official, further said.

Each year, torrential rains during the monsoon seasons, first from January to March and then from October to December, frequently trigger widespread flooding across most parts of Indonesia.

In June, some 50 people lost their lives when heavy rains sent torrents of water, mud and rock rushing into rural communities in Central Java.

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