Death Toll in Indonesia Flooding May Top 120

Landslides and floods leave bodies under '7-9 meter blanket of mud'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 27, 2007 12:23 PM CST
Soldiers and villagers help evacuate an elderly woman through flood in Ponorogo, East Java, Indonesia, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – More than 120 Indonesians are dead or missing after yesterday's landslides and floods, and thousands more are homeless, Reuters reports. A rescue team searched for bodies under yards of mud on steep hills and pulled out 12 with “spades and plows,” said a policeman. Many survivors are living in makeshift shelters in offices, schools, and tents.

Torrential rain on Java initiated the disaster, which a leading environmentalist blamed on deforestation of the island and the government’s unreadiness for disaster. “For five consecutive years landslides and floods have occurred in Java," he said. "There have been no adequate efforts by the government to protect the people.”