Indonesian Floods Kill 12

Jakarta streets inundated; landslides on Sumatra
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 8:36 AM CST
Indonesians wade through floodwaters on a downtown street Friday Feb. 1, 2008 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Heavy seasonal rains have forced Jakarta's airport to temporarily close due to poor visibility, and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Heavy trains have triggered floods and landslides across the Indonesian archipelago, killing at least 12 people and displacing thousands, Reuters reports. Jakarta's 14 million citizens are wading through knee-high water, and the country's president was forced to abandon his bulletproof car after getting stuck. On Java, more than 10,000 houses were inundated, forcing residents into tents on the street.

In Sumatra's Aceh province, site of the worst damage of the 2006 tsunami, eight people died after a landslide buried a pair of houses. Landslides have become increasingly common in Indonesia's rainy season; with hillsides stripped of vegetation, the soil comes loose more easily, with deadly consequences. The rains are expected to continue until tomorrow.