by Staff Writers
Manado, Indonesia (AFP) Jan 16, 2014
At least 16 people have been killed and 40,000 have fled their homes after torrential rain triggered flash floods and landslides on Indonesia's northern Sulawesi island, officials said Thursday.
Rivers on the island's northern tip overflowed and burst their banks, sending torrents of water surging through the city of Manado and surrounding areas that swept away poorly-constructed houses and vehicles.
People waded through waist-deep water to get to safety, while some took to rubber dinghies to escape the rapidly rising flood waters.
Many of those displaced took shelter in government buildings and churches in the Christian pocket of Muslim-majority Indonesia.
Rinto Talib said the flood waters surged suddenly into Manado, the main city in North Sulawesi province, causing people to "panic".
"I saw at least six cars belonging to my neighbours swept away by the powerful waters," said the 52-year-old, adding it was "the worst flooding that has ever happened in my life".
Local disaster agency chief Kristian Laotongan said that at least 16 people were killed by the floods and landslides on Wednesday and two more were missing.
National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho added that 40,000 people had fled their homes across the province.
People were killed by floodwaters in Manado and by landslides in Tomohon city and Minahasa district, officials said.
Indonesia is regularly affected by deadly floods and landslides during its wet season, which lasts for around six months.
Environmentalists blame logging and a failure to reforest denuded land for exacerbating the floods.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|