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Indonesia flood death toll jumps to 77: Disaster agency

Indonesia flood death toll jumps to 77: Disaster agency

Collapsed houses caused by flash floods are seen in Sentani near the provincial capital of Jayapura, Indonesia's eastern Papua province, on March 17, 2019. (Photo: AFP / NETTY DHARMA SOMBA)

JAKARTA: Flash floods in Indonesia's eastern Papua province have killed at least 77 people, the disaster agency said Monday (Mar 18) as it raised the death toll from 58.

More than three dozen people remain missing, while scores have been injured in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain and landslides.

Authorities on Sunday had put the death toll at 58, with dozens more injured and thousands displaced.

A search for more potential victims was underway on Sunday in the town of Sentani, which was hit by flash floods late Saturday.

Disaster authorities have warned local governments of flash flood risks due to deforestation in the mountains surrounding the town, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster agency.

Flooding is not uncommon in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season, which runs from October to April.

In January, floods and landslides killed at least 70 people on Sulawesi island, while earlier this month hundreds in West Java province were forced to evacuate when torrential rains triggered severe flooding.

Source: AGENCIES/nc

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