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Sulawesi Landslides Death Toll Reaches 68

Indonesian rescuers search for survivors after a landslide in Gowa on January 25, 2019, after heavy rains and strong winds pounded the southern part of Sulawesi island, swelling rivers that burst their banks and inundating dozens of communities in nine southern districts. - Floods and landslides in Indonesia have now killed at least 59 people, the government said on January 25 after heavy rain pounded Sulawesi island and forced thousands to flee their homes. (Photo by Anis ADRIS / AFP)

The death toll of the floods and landslides that hit the island of Sulawesi has reached 68 and thousands have been forced to flee their homes, an official said on Saturday, January 26.

Some 6,700 people in 14 districts have been evacuated and are now living in shelters, schools, tents or mosques.

The number of the evacuees has doubled from Friday after the disaster mitigation officials managed to get access to previously isolated districts and update the figures.

Six people are still declared missing after the disaster.

“Many evacuees have started to go home and clean up their house because the rain is no longer intense today,” head of local disaster mitigation agency Syamsibar said on Saturday.

Gowa district was the worst hit with at least 45 people found dead.

The local government has set up public kitchens and emergency medical clinics for the displaced people and aid has started pouring into the affected districts, Syamsibar said.

Water has started to recede and access to transportation has slowly returned to normal.

Landslides and floods are common in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rains lash the vast Southeast Asian archipelago.

Last year, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island, while a dozen died when an avalanche of mud and rock cascaded down a steep slope in central Java, Indonesia’s main island.

Source: Channel News Asia

Photo: Anis ADRIS / AFP

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