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.


SpaceX rocket carrying Moon-bound Israeli spacecraft lifts off

Updated 7 min 6 sec ago
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SpaceX rocket carrying Moon-bound Israeli spacecraft lifts off

WASHINGTON: A SpaceX rocket took off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Thursday night carrying Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft, which aims to make history twice: as the first private-sector landing on the Moon, and the first from the Jewish state.
The start of the flight went smoothly, with the first stage entry burn completed uneventfully less than three minutes after lift-off.
The Moon landing is scheduled for seven weeks’ time, on April 11.