Indonesian dam bursts, kills 58 | world | Hindustan Times
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Indonesian dam bursts, kills 58

At least 58 people were killed on Friday when heavy rains smashed through an old dam near the Indonesian capital Jakarta, unleashing a torrent of muddy water that destroyed hundreds of homes in what some survivors described as a suburban ‘tsunami.’

world Updated: Mar 28, 2009 00:14 IST

At least 58 people were killed on Friday when heavy rains smashed through an old dam near the Indonesian capital Jakarta, unleashing a torrent of muddy water that destroyed hundreds of homes in what some survivors described as a suburban ‘tsunami.’

The bodies of 47 out of the 58 victims have been identified, an undetermined number of people are missing and at least 31 people were being treated for injuries at various hospitals, said Rustam Pakaya, the head of the Health Ministry’s Crisis Centre.

“In a certain area, hundreds of houses were flattened to the ground and only two mosques were still standing,” Pakaya was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.

Sleeping residents were taken by surprise by the powerful flash flood as it crashed through Jakarta’s crowded Cirendeu suburb, in the early hours of this morning.

Witnesses said private vehicles were seen floating in an upscale residential complex near the dam, where the water level reached the rooftop of houses.

“The high death toll was because the incident occurred early morning when most people were still sleeping,” Vice President Jusuf Kalla said after visiting the site.

Pictures from the scene showed the pulverised ruins of wooden buildings emerging as brown muddied waters subside.