Floods, landslides kill at least eight in Indonesia

The water-levels in rivers flooded over the banks in nine southern districts. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Floods, landslides kill at least eight in Indonesia

  • Five were found dead in Jepento district, and another three were found in Gowa
  • The extreme rain that started falling on Tuesday in South Sulawesi areas caused the flooding

JAKARTA: At least eight people have been killed and thousands forced to evacuate their homes after heavy rain triggered devastating flash floods and landslides in Indonesia, authorities said Wednesday.
Heavy rain and strong winds buffeted parts of Sulawesi island overnight, swelling rivers that burst their banks and inundated dozens of villages in nine southern districts, as well as parts of the provincial capital Makassar.
Five people were found dead in Jeneponto district, while three people were killed in Gowa, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said.
At least four people are missing but authorities say data is still being collected across hard-hit areas.
“Extreme rain that started to fall on (Tuesday) in several areas of South Sulawesi caused the flooding,” agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.
Footage showed rivers overflowing with water spreading across vast swathes of land, flooding rice fields and submerging cars.
The flooding has forced thousands of residents to flee their homes and destroyed two bridges.
“Boats and food assistance for evacuees is still needed,” Nugroho said.
“(Rescuers) are still searching for the missing.”
Heavy rains and the extent of flooding have hampered search efforts, authorities said.
Landslides and flooding are common in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rain lashes the vast tropical archipelago.
In October, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island.


UK PM Theresa May to ask lawmakers to vote on a second Brexit referendum

Updated 34 min 46 sec ago
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UK PM Theresa May to ask lawmakers to vote on a second Brexit referendum

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May said her government will include in her Withdrawal Agreement Bill a requirement for lawmakers to vote on whether to hold another Brexit referendum.

“I recognise the genuine and sincere strength of feeling across the House on this important issue,” May said. "The government will therefore include in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at introduction a requirement to vote on whether to hold a second referendum."

“So to those MPs who want a second referendum to confirm the deal - you need a deal and therefore Withdrawal Agreement Bill to make it happen,” May said.

May is offering concessions in what she says is a “last chance” to secure an orderly British departure from the bloc.

The deal that she struck with the EU has been rejected by UK lawmakers three times already.

Since then, she has tried to secure backing from lawmakers with promises to maintain high standards on workers' rights and environmental protections — issues that are priorities for the left-of-center opposition Labour Party.

She also said UK lawmakers would get to decide how close a trade relationship to seek with the EU after Brexit, in a concession to Labour's demands for a customs union.

May said she was “making a new offer to find common ground in Parliament.”

“I have compromised. Now I ask you to compromise too,” she said.

May has said that after Parliament votes on the bill she will set out a timetable for her departure as Conservative leader and prime minister. Pro-Brexit Conservatives blame May for the country's political deadlock and want to replace her with a staunch Brexit supporter such as Boris Johnson, a former foreign secretary.

(With agencies)