Flash floods kill 14 in Indonesia's Java

Other News Materials 10 February 2008 15:49 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The death toll from a flash flood in Indonesia's densely populated East Java province reached 14, with dozens of homes destroyed, a health official and local media reports said Sunday.

Hours of heavy downpours caused rivers in the district of Situbondo to overflow, sweep through hundreds of homes and destroy several bridges, the state-run Antara news agency reported.

Rustan Pakaya, head of the Health Ministry's Crisis Centre said that 11 people killed in the floods had been identified, while the identification process was still under way for the three other bodies.

In the West Java district of Bekasi, just east of Jakarta, four people died and three others were wounded when an electricity pole was toppled by storms, hitting three motorcycles as they were riding along, Pakaya said.

Rain-triggered floods and landslides swept through Central and East Java provinces in late December, killing more than 100 people, destroying scores of homes and displacing hundreds of thousands.

Indonesia has been repeatedly afflicted by deadly floods and landslides, where years of deforestation have left hillsides vulnerable to collapse.

Tropical downpours can quickly soak slopes stripped of the vegetation that had once held their soil in place.

Environmentalists have warned that logging and a failure to reforest land are to blame.