January 2, 2008 / 9:08 AM / 11 years ago

Indonesia flood death toll climbs as waters recede

JAKARTA, Jan 2 (Reuters) - At least 112 people have been killed and nine are still missing after landslides and floods hit Indonesia’s Java island over the past week, officials said on Wednesday. Some of the 60,000 displaced residents have returned to their homes in parts of Central Java and East Java provinces as floodwaters started to subside.

But rescue workers continued their search for several people who may still be buried under thick mud after landslides slammed into their homes following heavy rain last week.

"We’ll not stop until we have exhumed the last bodies," said Heru Pratomo, head of the disaster relief team in Central Java’s Karang Anyar district, one of the worst hit by the rain-related disasters with about 60 deaths.

The Bengawan Solo river, which flows through the popular tourist city of Solo, burst its banks after several days of heavy rain, causing widespread flooding in heavily-populated Java.

The death toll from the disasters rose to 112 after some of those listed as missing were found dead, said Rustam Pakaya, head of the crisis centre at the health ministry.

Pakaya said displaced residents had begun returning to their homes because of fears of looting, even though many of these areas were still under water.

Landslides and floods are a common occurrence during the rainy season in Indonesia, especially in heavily logged areas. (Reporting by Ahmad Pathoni; Editing by Sara Webb and Alex Richardson)

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