Thousands die in Indonesia from floods

Wednesday, January 2nd 2008, 9:43 am
By: News 9


Indonesia's main island of Java was hit by further flooding on Wednesday, after the Bengawan Solo river burst its banks last week due to heavy rains, causing widespread flooding and several landslides.

More than 60,000 people have been already displaced in Central and East Java since flooding started last week, and the Health Ministry's Crisis Mitigation Centre told Antara News Agency on Tuesday that at least 102 people are dead and 21 others missing due to the flooding.

The new floodwaters on Wednesday forced some schoolchildren to forgo classes, while residents sat atop roofs and scrambled to save their most valuable possessions.

The flooding has submerged agricultural land and disrupted transport by road and railway.

The head of the Indonesian Health Ministry's Crisis Mitigation centre, Rustam S. Pakaya, said in a written statement that the centre has sent relief aid to the flood and landslide victims.

Millions of people live in mountainous regions and near fertile flood plains that are close to rivers.

Landslides and floods are a common occurrence during the rainy season in Indonesia, especially in heavily logged areas.