Death toll in Indonesia floods reaches 30

Jakarta: Indonesian authorities on Thursday raised the number of people killed due to floods on Sulawesi island to 30, while 25 people were missing.

Another 47 people were injured and 3,321 people were displaced, the country’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) said.

Rainfall caused by a severe storm on Tuesday in the southern part of the island also led to flooding of 2,694 houses in 78 towns, BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho was cited as saying by Efe news.

The flood also submerged 11,433 hectares of rice fields, damaged nine bridges, six worship places and 13 schools, Sutopo added.

At least 78 villages in 10 regencies and municipalities were affected by the flood. The torrential rains also caused several rivers and reservoirs to overflow, although Sutopo added that the water level had begun to recede.

Rescue teams were using inflatable boats to continue assisting those affected as the water level rose to a height of two metres (6.6 feet) forcing many to seek refuge on the roofs of their houses.

The government of South Sulawesi announced a special budget of 1 billion rupiahs ($70,600) for emergency and recovery work while it continued to assess casualties and structural damage.

Sutopo said the number of deaths might rise as the search and rescue operations were continuing.

Floods and landslides hit Indonesia every year during the rainy season, which lasts from December to February.

Severe rains and floods heaped more misery on the island of Sulawesi as it continued to recover from a massive earthquake and tsunami which struck last September.

Over 2,200 people died, with over 1,000 people missing and tens of thousands more displaced and injured.