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24 dead, 26 missing in Indonesian floods, landslides

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JAKARTA — Flash flooding and landslides in Indonesia have killed 24 and left more than two dozen missing, an official says, with mud avalanches burying people inside their homes.

Torrential rain since Saturday has triggered serious flooding across Central Java, with thousands of homes inundated, said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

“Initial data… shows the impact of the floods and landslides in Central Java has caused 24 deaths, with 26 others still missing,” Mr Sutopo said in a statement.

Footage aired by local broadcasters showed villagers sitting on their roofs to escape the rising water, their cars and homes submerged in brown water.

Areas prone to landslides in the densely-populated province were the worst hit, with drivers swept off roads and dozens of homes destroyed by fast-moving walls of mud, rock and water.

In one district, five people were buried in their homes as a landslide swept through the village. In another, nine people were killed as they tried to clear rubble from a road.

“Suddenly a huge landslide struck the cars and people on the street. Nine bodies were retrieved,” Mr Sutopo said in a statement.

Search and rescue crews are combing villages for the 26 still missing, Mr Sutopo added.

Temporary shelters have been erected to help those evacuated from the disaster zone.

Landslides are not uncommon in Indonesia.

Last month, 15 students holidaying at a popular tourist spot in western Indonesia were killed when a landslide swept through their camp ground.

AFP

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Government not serious in resolving Nirmala Panta’s case: Gagan Thapa

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR— Nepali Congress youth leader and lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa has alleged that the government was not serious about finding the perpetrators of the rape and subsequent murder of Nirmala Panta, a 13-year-old girl from Bhimduttanagar Municipality-2, Kanchanpur.

Leader Thapa was speaking in a meeting with the party workers at the Nepali Congress party district office here this morning. He said people’s trust towards the government was waning due to its nonchalance in providing justice in the Nirmala Panta’s case.

He also accused the government of not working as per the people’s aspiration despite the formation of a stable government after a long wait.

After the meeting with the party workers, Thapa met with Nirmala’s parents who are staging a sit-in in front of the District Administration Office for last two weeks demanding justice.

“Please, take care of your health. I will relay your message to the Prime Minister and the president of the Nepali Congress, the main opposition party in parliament,” he assured Nirmala’s grieving parents.

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