Thirty dead as overflowing dam floods villages in Indonesia

Rescue workers push an inflatable boat as they evacuate residents following floods in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

An overflowing dam has killed at least 30 people in Indonesia and forced thousands to flee their villages, authorities said on Thursday. Twenty-five people are missing.

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency has set up temporary shelters and field kitchens for residents fleeing floodwaters over a meter high that inundated riverside settlements in South Sulawesi province, including in the provincial capital Makassar, on Wednesday and Thursday.

“So far we have found 30 people who drowned or were caught in landslides triggered by heavy rains and when the Bili-Bili dam started overflowing,” said agency official Hasriadi.

One major highway has been blocked, prompting authorities to deliver aid via helicopter, according to media.

Aerial images showed muddy brown water covering swaths of lands and, in some areas, rushing water washing away houses and debris.

Indonesia is an archipelago of over 17,000 islands and frequently suffers natural disasters.

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