80 Killed in Indonesian Landslides

On the third anniversary of the South Asian tsunami, Indonesia has been hit by extensive flooding, which has resulted in massive landslides in the central Java region.

On Wednesday morning on the island of Java, the seasonal rains, along with high tides, brought large floods to the region. Floods and landslides are a regular occurrence after heavy rain, but their size has been on the increase in recent years, and many blame deforestation for this. However, the head of the local disaster coordination agency Heru, told Reuters deforestation was probably not to blame in this incident, as the forests are so thick.

The problem is more poignant – it being the third anniversary since the Asian Tsunami, which left 220,00 Indonesians dead or missing, and officials say that the death toll could rise as people are forced to leave their homes and seek temporary shelter elsewhere.

Images from the BBC show the floods at chest height, with people attempting to save their belongings. Landslides struck several areas, including the Tawangmangu area of Central Java, further south in Wonogiri , and in the Karanganyar district. This was where the worst incident was reported – several people were at a celebratory dinner, when they were hit by a landslide. At least 61 people were buried.

It has been difficult for rescuers to reach many of the affected areas, as many roads have been cut off. A provincial official said the landslides were the worst to hit the region in quarter of a century.

“The landslides took us by surprise. This is the first time in the last 25 years anything of this scale occurred here in Central Java.”

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