Rescue efforts continue for searching 103 missing people in Indonesia

17:19, October 11, 2010      

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The Indonesian government decided on Monday to continue searching for missing persons in a flash floods in West Papua in the next several days, which have killed 145 people, senior officials said here.

Meanwhile, the officials dismissed illegal logging as the cause of the flash floods.

Although the normal procedure of search and rescue is carried out by up to seven days, the Head of Disaster and Mitigation Agency Syamsul Maarif said that the rescuers would keep searching for the 103 missing persons in the next several days.

The catastrophe in Wasior town of Teluk Wondama have seriously wounded 182 people, left 535 others suffering from light injuries and internally displaced 4,375 people, spokesman of the National Disaster and Mitigation Management Agency Hartje Robert told Xinhua.

The head of agency did not mention the deadline of the searching, but hinted it would be conducted by up to 14 days.

"We will wait for the request of members of the relatives to end the rescue, but commonly, the bodies would be decomposed after 14 days," he told a joint press conference at the State Palace here.

The government on Monday dismissed accusation to illegal logging conducted by corporates in the area, saying that extreme weather condition had caused consecutive days of heavy downpours and was away soils with friable tecture.

"We have surrounded the affected-area, it had not been found any signs of illegal logging practices, which is particularly done by corporates," he told the conference.

Days after the floodings, environmental activists and Forestry Minister Zulkipli Hasan blamed illegal logging as the trigger of the disaster.

The government would make assessment to determined the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation period for the affected-areas, said Maarif.

Source: Xinhua


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