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Indonesia flash floods kill at least 13

Four rivers burst their banks forcing 40,000 to flee

Indonesia flash floods kill at least 13

A dog stands on the roof of a shop to escape the floodwaters (picture: AFP Photo/Yudi Makka) reporter, Jakarta

January 16, 2014

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Flash floods have killed at least 13 people and forced 40,000 to flee their homes in North Sulawesi province following torrential rains since Tuesday.

Two people were still missing on Thursday after four rivers burst their banks causing floodwaters to reach up to six ms, sweeping away houses, bridges and cars in the provincial capital Manado as well as in Tomohon and Minahasa.

“The number of dead could be bigger,” said Nodly Liow, head of the provincial Disaster Mitigation Board. “With the help of police and military personnel as well as others from different organizations, [we] are conducting the search now.”

Rains subsided on Thursday but the Indonesian meteorology board predicted more in the coming days.

The 40,000 people evacuated so far have taken shelter in places of worship, government offices and hotels, said Christian Laotongan of the Disaster Mitigation Board’s operational control center.

“Individuals and organizations have distributed meals and clothes to them,” he added.

Manado diocese and Caritas Indonesia have opened two soup kitchens with two more planned to help feed families who have evacuated flooded areas.

“Meals are the most urgent thing. That’s why we’re focusing on this right now,” said Father John Derry of Manado diocese.

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