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Death toll rises to 15 in Indonesian floods–police


11:50 AM January 19th, 2013

January 19th, 2013 11:50 AM

Indonesian special force soldiers evacuate people in a rubber boat in Jakarta, Indonesia Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. Authorities were working Friday to repair a dike that collapsed amid floods that swamped the Indonesian capital as the waters gradually receded from the main streets of the teeming city. AP Photo/Irwin Ferdiansyah

JAKARTA – The death toll from floods in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has risen to 15 after rescuers found another four bodies, a police spokesman said Saturday as floodwaters receded.

Jakarta police spokesman Rikwanto said that three bodies were pulled out of the water on Friday while a body trapped since Thursday in a flooded parking lot in the capital’s business district was found early Saturday.

“The death toll due to floods in Jakarta rose to 15 people. Rescuers are still struggling to find another man, believed to be trapped in a building’s parking lot,” he told AFP.

He added that scuba divers on Friday managed to rescue two men who had been trapped for more than 24 hours by four-metre (13-foot) high floodwaters in the basement of a building.

“A man working as a housekeeper was found alive in the morning and the second one was the building technician who was also found alive before midnight,” he said.

Authorities raised the flood alert to its highest level on Thursday.

But many areas, including the city’s business district, were no longer flooded on Saturday and rains had stopped since Friday afternoon.

The floods had forced 18,000 people from their homes on Friday, the country’s disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

“We’re still updating this morning the number of people displaced,” he told AFP on Saturday.

The floods were the worst to hit the capital since 2007, when about 50 people were killed and more than 300,000 were displaced.

Even the presidential palace was inundated by the waters on Thursday, with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pictured in the grounds in rolled-up trousers.

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