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126 dead after devastating floods in North Aceh recedes BANDA ACEH - Rescuers reaching remote Indonesian villages for the first time since weeklong rains triggered floods and landslides said Friday that survivors are dehydrated and in desperate need of medical attention. The number of people killed stood at 126, with more than 400,000 displaced. In neighboring Malaysia, which is experiencing its most severe weather in a century, authorities found the body of a 14-year-old boy floating in a flood-swollen canal, bringing the tally of dead to 11. Nearly 90,000 have been displaced in Malaysia, where flood waters have caused nearly 15.2 million in damages. Both nations were bracing for continued rains throughout the weekend.

Indonesian authorities acknowledge that coming up with an accurate death toll on westernmost Sumatra island has been difficult. Thousands of houses have been swept away and many of the hardest-hit areas are in remote jungles or have been cut off by washed-out roads and bridges. Many villagers have fled to surrounding hills. One official briefly raised the number killed to nearly 200 on Friday, then revised the figure downward hours later, saying he had mistakenly added scores of missing to his list.

"We're seeing people with skin disease, fever and colds," said Jabad, an official working in the area. "They badly need medicine and clean drinking water." The relief efforts followed days of seasonal downpours, the cause of dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in the sprawling archipelagic nation where millions of people live in mountainous areas or in fertile flood plains. More than 150 people remained missing.

Jabad puts the death toll in Aceh province at 76 on Friday, sharply revising downward a figure he provided earlier in the day. At least 50 others have died in neighboring North Sumatra province, said Edy Sofyan, the provincial spokesman. The Aceh disaster relief task force said Thursday that more than 13,000 homes across six districts had been severely damaged or washed away entirely more than 1,700 of them in the Aceh Tamiang district, where waters were several meters deep in some areas.

Several thousand refugees have taken shelter in nearby hills, said district spokesman Nasir Musa, adding that food and emergency supplies reached many nearly a week after the disaster. "Boats loaded with food have arrived and we've unloaded it onto trucks," he said as waters starting subsiding from some areas. "We've reached some previously cut off villages already." Elsewhere, helicopters dropped food, tents and medicine.


Related blog entries (category 'Flooding') Related blog entries (category 'Flooding'):
26 December 2006 · North Sumatra floods recede, at least 100 dead
26 December 2006 · Rescue operation continues in Aceh floods
25 December 2006 · 19 killed in X-mas Eve landslide in North Sumatera
25 December 2006 · Govt rushes relief to flood-ravaged Aceh
25 December 2006 · Floods force more than 50,000 from homes in Aceh


Posted in Flooding @ 29 December 2006 10:29 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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