Landslide, Floods Toll at 112 Dead

JAKARTA ~ Landslides and floods that struck Java last week killed 112 people and left nine missing, a Health Ministry official said Wednesday, as waters receded in the worst hit areas.

Torrential rains across Central and East Java provinces triggered landslides that engulfed homes and floods along the island’s longest river which displaced tens of thousands of people, hundreds of whom remained in shelters.

“The last update … shows that landslides and floods in Central and East Java have left 112 dead and nine missing,” ministry official Rustam Pakaya said.

He said that 80 lives were claimed and nine people missing in Central Java, where the worst landslides occurred and authorities have struggled to recover bodies, while in East Java 32 fatalities were recorded.

Pakaya said that about 20 tons of baby food and 15 tons of instant meals had been dispatched to the disaster zones along with two trucks loaded with medicines.

Red Cross official Rukman said more than 12,000 houses in both provinces had been damaged, including more than 300 destroyed.

In East Java’s Ngawi district, which was worst hit by floods early this week, local official Sulami said that waters had receded in several areas and people had returned home to start mopping up.

In nearby Lamongan district, where floods peaked on Tuesday, district policeman Kasiri said flood levels were dropping but remained up to 1.5 meters high in some areas, with hundreds of families in shelters.

Landslides and flooding are common across the country during the rainy season, which hits a peak from December to February.

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