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Eight killed, 13 missing in Indonesian flash floods

Eight people were killed and 13 missing after flash floods smashed through villages in Indonesia's Southeast Sulawesi province, officials said on Friday.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2010 23:22 IST

Eight people were killed and 13 missing after flash floods smashed through villages in Indonesia's Southeast Sulawesi province, officials said on Friday.

The powerful waters were unleashed after the Rante Limbong river overflowed and rushed through five villages in Kolaka Utara district late on Thursday, health ministry crisis centre chief Rustam Pakaya told AFP.

"Our latest data from local officials is that eight bodies have been found and 13 people went missing," he told AFP, adding that at least 16 houses were swept away.

Spokesman for the national disaster management centre, Priyadi Kardono, said that rescuers were struggling to get to the villages.

"It's hard to reach the affected area... roads are cut off and the communication access is so difficult," he told AFP.

He said the floods had displaced 2,000 people who were now sheltering in local administration office buildings.

Floods and landslides are common in Indonesia, which is densely populated and prone to frequent heavy rain.