16 killed in N Sulawesi floods and landslides

15 bodies were recovered and one was still missing.
Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - At least 16 people fell victim to Wednesdays floods and landslides in Indonesias North Sulawesi province.

On Thursday, Head of the North Sulawesi Provincial Disaster Mitigation Board (BPBD) Noldy Liow stated that 15 bodies were recovered and one was still missing.

"The search for the dead victim of the landslide in Tinoor is still on-going," he added.

Noldy remarked that the team of rescue workers was expected to continue their search operations for the landslide victim on Friday.

"The SAR team will resume the search tomorrow," he claimed.

The rescue workers faced difficulties while searching for the landslide victim due to labile soil, he noted.

"As a result, the SAR team found it difficult to move around, while, on the other hand, rains continued to fall," he stated.

The flash floods and landslides triggered by the torrential rains in the past few days, had struck a number of areas in North Sulawesi, including Manado, Minahasa, Tomohon, North Minahasa, and South Minahasa.

According to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), some 40 thousand residents have been displaced by the flash floods and landslides in North Sulawesi.

Head of BNPB Information Center Sutopo Purwo Nugroho stated in a press release on Thursday that around one thousand residents from three villages in North Minahasa District were isolated and cut off from road access due to floods and landslides.

Landslides also buried several houses in Sangihe Islands.

"Heavy rains were triggered by a low-pressure system that originated over the southern Philippines waters, which resulted in the formation of intense clouds, while the low pressure over northern Australia caused massive cloud formation that drifted towards the North Sulawesi region," Nugroho explained.

Four major rivers in Manado had overflowed and the water washed away dozens of houses and vehicles.

Hundreds of houses remain submerged in flood waters reaching a height of 2.5 meters, following 11 hours of incessant rains in Manado, on Wednesday.(*)