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

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.


US coronavirus death toll tops 100,000

Updated 44 min 26 sec ago

US coronavirus death toll tops 100,000

  • Nearly 1.7 million infections have been tallied nationwide

WASHINGTON:: The United States has now recorded more than 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, Johns Hopkins University reported Wednesday — a somber milestone and by far the highest total in the world.
The country reported its first death about three months ago. Since then, nearly 1.7 million infections have been tallied nationwide, according to the Baltimore-based school.
The actual number of deaths and infections is believed to be higher, experts say.
In the last 24 hours, the death toll was on the rise once again, with 1,401 deaths added, after three straight days of tolls under 700. The full death toll stood at 100,396.
The state of New York has seen nearly a third of all coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, where President Donald Trump ordered that flags fly at half-staff last weekend to honor the victims.
The first US virus death was reported on February 26, though officials now say they believe that others may have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, before that.
The country passed the 50,000-death threshold barely more than a month ago.
The number of deaths per capita in the United States is nevertheless lower than in several European countries, including Britain, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain.
Despite the grim toll, most US states are now moving toward ending the strict stay-at-home measures that were implemented to curb the spread of the virus.
President Donald Trump, who is running for reelection in November, is eager to stem the economic pain of the lockdown, which has left tens of millions of Americans without jobs.