Rain, isolation hamper Indonesia landslide rescue
About 1,000 people whose homes were washed away have been evacuated, many still remain cut off with key roads severely damaged by the landslides and floods that have killed 34 people across vast swathes of land.
The landslides followed days of torrential rain in hillside areas in Flores' Manggarai regency, around 1,500 km (932 miles) east of Jakarta.
"It is still raining here today. There is thick fog around the location but we managed to evacuate 1,000 people," said Manggarai regent Christian Rotok, who was moving aid to an isolated district.
"Many houses in Manggarai are built on hills which are prone to disaster and much of the forest above has been stripped. Landslides occur almost every year," he told Reuters by telephone.
Rotok said rescuers, including soldiers and policemen, were forced to take food and medicine to evacuees by foot because some affected districts were still cut off.
Indonesia is in the middle of the rainy season, when landslides are frequent in the country. Tropical downpours can quickly soak hillsides and years of deforestation often means there is little vegetation to hold the soil.
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