Flash floods kill 58 in Indonesia | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, March 18, 2019

Flash floods kill 58 in Indonesia

Flash floods in Indonesia's eastern Papua province have killed at least 58 people, an official said yesterday, as rescuers battled mud, rocks and fallen trees in the hunt for survivors.

The death toll was expected to rise as emergency services struggled to reach people in hard-hit areas, with more than 70 people injured and 4,150 evacuated.

The floods -- triggered by torrential rain and landslides on Saturday -- damaged numerous homes in the northeastern town of Sentani, said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

"The number of casualties and impact of the disaster will likely increase as search and rescue teams are still trying to reach other affected areas," he said.

The waters had receded but officials were still trying to evacuate people from areas obstructed by "fallen trees, rocks, mud and other material", Nugroho added.

In Doyo, one of the most affected areas, a housing complex was littered with huge rocks believed to have rolled down from a nearby mountain, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Sediment and waste swept by the floods piled up on the pavement.

The non-stop wail of ambulance sirens could be heard, as heavy equipment was used to clear the roads.

The government has announced a 14-day state of emergency, said Jayapura police chief Victor Dean Mackbon.

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