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Indonesia floods, landslides kill 17
by Staff Writers
Manado, Indonesia (AFP) Feb 18, 2013


One dead, 14 missing as ship sinks in Philippines
Manila (AFP) Feb 17, 2013 - One person died and 14 others are missing after a Myanmar-flagged cargo ship sank in waters off the northern Philippines, a coast guard spokesman said Sunday.

The search is still going on for the 14 missing Myanmar nationals after their ship, the MV Arita Bauxite, went down before dawn Sunday near the coastal Philippine town of Bolinao, said Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo.

The ship, carrying 24 crew, sank after developing engine trouble, although what caused it to take on water is still unclear, said Balilo.

Nine surviving crewmen and the fatality were picked up by a passing Chinese vessel, he said.

"The weather was clear at the time. We have yet to ask the crew members what happened," he added.

A coast guard helicopter and a vessel have been dispatched to the area to hunt for the missing, he said.

Four children were among 17 people killed over the weekend in central Indonesia after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides, officials said on Monday.

The children, aged between two and nine, died along with 13 adults when flooding and landslides hit the northern part of Sulawesi island early Sunday, provincial disaster management agency spokesman Howke Makawarung told AFP.

"We recorded 17 people killed. All bodies were found on Sunday," he said, adding that heavy rains had hit three areas, including the North Sulawesi provincial capital of Manado which saw water levels up to four metres (13 feet).

Water, which inundated around 5,000 houses in Manado, had receded by Monday and residents had begun cleaning up their homes.

A landslide which hit the city killed a six-year old boy.

"He was taking a bath in the morning when a landslide suddenly struck his house," the capital deputy mayor Harley Mangindaan told AFP.

Indonesia is regularly affected by deadly floods and landslides during its wet season, which lasts for around six months.

Environmentalists blame logging and a failure to reforest denuded land for exacerbating flooding.

Heavy rains caused flooding in the capital Jakarta in January that left 32 people dead and at its peak forced nearly 46,000 to flee their homes.

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