Jakarta, July 16 (efe-epa).- The Indonesian authorities on Thursday raised to 25 the number of people killed in flash floods that left hundreds of homes buried in mud on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi while the search continues for nearly 70 who are missing.
Some 19 people were also injured due to the floods while around 3,000 people have been housed in temporary shelters, according to the latest report of the Indonesian disaster management agency.
More than 200 homes in the six affected districts have been buried by muddy waves of up to 4 meters (13 feet) high and search and rescue teams are engaged in efforts to locate potential survivors.
The disaster, which caught the locals unaware, was triggered by heavy rains in the area. The torrential rains also caused three rivers to burst their banks in the Luwu North district.
More than 15,000 people have been affected by the floods, which have damaged nearly 5,000 houses.
Large amounts of mud and debris blocking the roads and bridges that have collapsed due to the floods have made it difficult to access affected areas.
Emergency teams are working to clear the roads to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid and essential supplies.
Flash floods have affected several areas across the archipelago over the past two weeks, with over 2,800 people left homeless in Central Kalimantan on the central island of Borneo, with areas of Aceh in western Indonesia also heavily affected by the unseasonal downpours.
On Monday, Lamandau district head reportedly said that the floods were among the worst to ever hit the area.
Residents have been evacuated from at-risk areas to safer zones away from the overflowing rivers, which have cut off roads, hampering evacuations and rescue efforts.
Indonesia’s monsoon or rainy season usually falls between November and April, with the months between May and October normally bringing drier, more settled weather.
Floods and landslides affect Indonesia yearly during the rainy season, which peaks between December and February. EFE-EPA