Death toll from Indonesian floods rises 178

June 22, 2006 05:57


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Villagers and rescue teams Thursday searched for survivors on an Indonesian island hit by floods and landslides, as the number of killed climbed to 178, officials said. More than 135 other people were missing in southern districts of Sulawesi Island, with many feared to have been swept out to sea. At least two roads were still blocked by landslides and flood waters reached almost 2-meters high in one district, said rescue official Abdul Malik. In the worst-hit region of Sinjai, 168 people had been killed, according to information posted on a board outside an emergency relief center there. At least 10 others have died in neighboring regions, officials said. The flash floods and landslides were triggered by incessant rains since Monday, and the government has promised an investigation into claims that illegal logging may have been a contributory factor.

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