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Floods leave over 70 dead in Indonesia

Floods leave over 70 dead in Indonesia

Authorities found more than 70 more bodies in flood-ravaged villages in western Indonesia yesterday while looting broke out in Malaysia in districts abandoned due to rising waters, officials and reports said.
An aerial view from an aid flight over the worst-hit region on Indonesia's Sumatra island showed many houses submerged, while only the roofs of others were visible. Some families were trapped on the roofs of their homes.
The death toll from more than three days of rain-triggered flooding on Sumatra was at least 87, with dozens others reported missing, while seven people have been killed in neighboring Malaysia, officials said.
More than 150,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in both countries.
The worst hit region was in Tamiyang district in Aceh province in Northern Sumatra, where rescuers found 60 bodies yesterday, said Nurdin Jos, an Aceh government spokesman.
Aceh was the region worst hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami, but this week's flooding was in areas unaffected by that disaster.
Another official said 13 more people, mostly children, were killed elsewhere, adding to 14 confirmed dead on Saturday. State news agency Antara reported 114 people killed, but gave no attribution.
In Malaysia, nearly 70,000 evacuees were in public shelters in Johor state, about 10,000 in Malacca and 5,760 in Pahang, Bernama news agency said.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called on people to help prevent looting in the flooded areas by making citizen's arrests, the report said.
"There are looting incidents but not that rampant," Abdullah was quoted as saying. "We cannot wait for the police to act. The public and the volunteers must help."
The flooding, which followed unusually heavy rainfall, is reportedly the worst in living memory in some areas.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department said the heavy rainfall that started on December 17 was due to intense winds sweeping across the South China Sea, caused by "cold surges emanating from high-pressure system over Siberia."


Updated : 2021-07-25 15:40 GMT+08:00