Floods and landslides kill at least 86 in Indonesia

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Aftermath of flooding in Teluk Wondama, West Papua province - 5 Oct 2010
Image caption,
Homes, businesses and schools were badly damaged in the flash floods

At least 86 people are now known to have died in flooding in the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua.

Flash floods and landslides in the Teluk Wondama district have left another 80 people injured and sent thousands into evacuation centres.

Many more are missing after a river burst its banks, triggering a landslide and uprooting trees.

A navy warship has arrived near the disaster area, carrying tents, medical supplies and food.

The sudden flooding caught residents by surprise, officials said, contributing to the high death toll.

Homes washed away

"We are still searching for dozens of missing people. The chance of survival for the missing people is slim," Papua search and rescue official Mochamad Arifin told the AFP news agency.

Many parts of the country had been badly hit by heavy rains, winds and high waves this year, meteorologists said.

A Red Cross official told the BBC that the death toll was higher, and that 94 people were known to have been killed.

Roads and bridges have been washed away and hundreds of homes, businesses and schools have been damaged or destroyed.

Rescue workers and residents are reported to be sifting through the thick mud.

"I heard a roar and suddenly the river near my home broke its banks," said Ira Wanoni, describing a flood which struck his village, Wasio.

"Water mixed with rocks, mud and logs gushed out. Many people didn't have time to save themselves," he told the AP news agency.

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