Indonesia flood, landslide death toll hits 70

Rescuers use a sniffer dog to search for survivors after a landslide hit Gowa in South Sulawesi. (AFP)
Updated 29 January 2019
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Indonesia flood, landslide death toll hits 70

  • Drone footage showed landslides had buried Pattallikang village in hard-hit Gowa district
  • Landslides and floods are common in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April

JAKARTA: Floods and landslides that battered Indonesia’s Sulawesi island have killed at least 70 people, authorities said Tuesday, as aerial footage underscored the scale of the disaster with whole villages wiped off the map.
Lashed by heavy rain, rivers swelled and burst their banks, inundating dozens of communities across 12 districts as well as parts of the provincial capital Makassar.
The bodies of 70 victims have been found, while six are still missing, Syamsibar, head of South Sulawesi’s disaster mitigation agency, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said.
Drone footage showed landslides had buried Pattallikang village in hard-hit Gowa district, with only a few buildings — including a mosque — visible after an avalanche of mud and rock cascaded down a nearby hillside.
Nearly 9,500 people have been displaced by the extreme weather, and hundreds of houses, government buildings, schools and bridges have been damaged, the disaster mitigation agency said Monday.
Authorities say floodwaters are receding but a state of emergency will remain in place until February 6, while rescuers look for those still missing and help repair damaged infrastructure.
Landslides and floods are common in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rains lash the vast Southeast Asian archipelago.


13 under arrest for Sri Lanka blasts: police

Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 22 April 2019
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13 under arrest for Sri Lanka blasts: police

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police have arrested 13 men in connection with bomb blasts on churches and hotels that killed more than 200 people, officials said Monday.
Authorities have not made public details on those held after Sunday’s attacks. But a police source told AFP the 13 were detained at two locations in and around Colombo.
The source said the 13 men are from the same radical group.
At least two of the eight attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, according to police and other sources, and three police were killed when another suicide bomber detonated explosives during a raid on a house where suspects were.