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Thousands evacuated amid severe floods in Indonesia; 59 dead

January 25,2019

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- At least 59 people have died and more than 3,400 were evacuated after heavy rains caused major floods and landslides in Indonesia this week, officials said.

More than two dozen people went missing as the storm swept through, filling rivers beyond their banks. Officials said nine districts saw severe flooding in the southern part of Sulawesi province on Wednesday and Thursday.

Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency said Thursday the rains had started to recede, but the search and evacuation process is still going.

In one video posted online, neighbors in Gowa, South Sulawesi, formed a human chain to prevent a house with a baby inside from being swept away by high waters Tuesday. Some used a rope to hold the home in place while others searched for the child inside.

"Rainfall in several areas in South Sulawesi was extreme," National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. "Therefore, the land was unable to absorb the water and the rivers that were also unable to accommodate the excess rainwater overflowed."

Gowa, in particular, was hard hit with floodwaters inundating more than 500 houses in seven subdistricts. The flooding damaged at least two bridges in Manuju, the agency said.


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