6 Oct 2010

Rescuers search for Indonesian flood victims

8:20 am on 6 October 2010

At least 56 people have been killed and 24 remain missing after flash floods in West Papua province in Indonesia.

The early morning floods followed continuous torrential downpours that began late on Sunday in Teluk Wondama district.

Thousands of homes have been damaged, while crops and irrigation systems have been destroyed.

Many transport routes have been blocked, making access difficult for rescuers.

A local official said hundreds of people had been displaced and sought refuge in uphill areas. One resident, Lubis, said the floods were about three metres deep.

The National Search and Rescue Agency has sent a 12-man team with a 150-seat rescue boat. Relief teams have also been deployed to deliver aid.

Floods and landslides are common in Indonesia, which is prone to frequent heavy rain.