Landslide kills at least 31 people in Indonesia
A landslide triggered by heavy rains has killed at least 31 people after burying six homes in the northern Indonesian city of Manado.india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 18:33 IST
A landslide triggered by heavy rains has killed at least 31 people after burying six homes in the northern Indonesian city of Manado.
Most of the deaths occurred Tuesday in the capital of north Sulawesi province, whereas many as 19 bodies were pulled from the mud following a landslide, said Alex Wowor, chief of the regional development agency.
At least 12 other people have died in nearby areas in recent days, he said, adding that constant rain had caused several rivers to overflow.
"Most of the victims were swept away by currents or buried in mud," Wowor said, adding that others died when landslides and floods caused their homes to collapse.
Indonesia faces two main monsoon seasons each year caused by changing winds in the Indian Ocean, with the heaviest rain usually falling between October and April.
Meteorologist Teddy Ranti said low pressure systems in the Philippines, just north of Manado, had contributed to the particularly strong downpours this month.
Damage to houses, livestock and rice fields was valued at US$19 million (euro15 million), Wowor said, and it will cost at least US$8.6 million (euro7.2 million) to repair infrastructure and upgrade water drainage systems in Manado alone. More than two dozen people were also injured in the landslide, which followed hours of heavy rains, but onlytwo people remained hospitalized, she added.
A policeman on duty in Manado said rain had inundated the area for two days, with flood waters in some areas in town reaching a depth of four metres.
More than 150 Indonesians were killed on the densely-populated island of Java in two separate landslides earlier this month.
Activists have warned that the destruction of forests for logging and farming means that more disasters are expected.
Flooding and landslides are not unusual during Indonesia's rainy season, which hits a peak in January or February in most areas across the huge archipelago.