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Three die in Indonesia flash floods
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) Oct 15, 2011

Flash floods on eastern Indonesia's Sulawesi island killed three people and damaged scores of buildings, officials said Saturday.

"One adult and two children were killed (Friday) in the district of Donggala in Central Sulawesi. Many homes have been damaged, so people are staying with their relatives or sleeping in local schools," National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP.

Three hours of torrential rain caused a river to overflow into three villages, seriously damaging more than 70 homes and two bridges, Nugroho said.

"There is heavy flooding in this part of the world at the moment, with Thailand and the Philippines more seriously affected," Nugroho said.

"There is likely to be more bad weather to come."

Local agencies have set up a health post for victims and are collecting data on people affected.

Indonesia has been repeatedly afflicted by deadly floods and landslides in recent years, with activists warning that logging and a failure to reforest denuded land in the world's fourth-most populous country are often to blame.

Floods in Indonesia's Papua region killed more than 140 people and displaced around 5,000 last year in October, when the tropical wet season hit.

Deadly floods have also killed about 300 people in Thailand and around 100 in the Philippines.

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Central America on alert for more rains as toll rises to 37
Guatemala City (AFP) Oct 14, 2011 - Central America was on maximum alert Friday as heavy rains threatened to lash the region over the weekend, while the death toll rose to 37 from a storm system in the past week.

The toll in neighboring Mexico rose to eight, with three more reported dead in the wake of Jova, which separately hit the Pacific coast as a hurricane Tuesday before weakening to a tropical storm.

Storm systems in Central America and Mexico triggered heavy flooding, blocked roads and caused electricity outages and mudslides.

Many homes were destroyed and more than 70,000 people affected.

Torrential rains carried away bridges in Guatemala, where 22 people were confirmed dead, according to local authorities and emergency services.

President Alvaro Colom told reporters that two people were still missing, while the United States offered four helicopters to help rescue efforts in isolated communities.

Rescuers recovered seven bodies in Nicaragua, six in El Salvador and two in Honduras, while only property damage was reported in Costa Rica.

Mexican authorities insisted only small repairs were needed to venues for the Pan American Games, which began Friday in Guadalajara, the Jalisco state capital more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Pacific coast.


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Thai PM moves to soothe Bangkok flood jitters
Bangkok (AFP) Oct 14, 2011
Thailand's premier on Friday reassured Bangkok's 12 million residents over a looming flood crisis, after an evacuation false alarm briefly sparked panic and people stockpiled food and water. Massive efforts are under way to prevent the densely populated capital from being inundated by the country's worst floods in decades, which have wreaked havoc in north and central Thailand, leaving at le ... read more

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