Toll in Indonesia floods, landslides now 79

Sentani, March 17, 2019 (Xinhua) A mother holds her child near a collapsed fence after flash floods in Sentani, Indonesia, on March 17, 2019. Sixty-three bodies have been retrieved after flash floods hit Indonesia's easternmost Papua province on Saturday night, and a search and rescue operation is still ongoing for dozens still missing, a rescue team member said on Sunday.

Jakarta, ┬áThe death toll from flash floods and subsequent landslides in Indonesia’s Papua province has increased to 79, with search and rescue operations continuing on Monday to locate 43 missing people.

Due to the floods and landslides that hit villages in Jayapura district on Saturday night, 4,728 people were forced to evacuate from their home and take shelter at six centres, Natural Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

A total of 350 houses, over 100 buildings, three bridges, eight school buildings and three religious buildings were also destroyed, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Sunday, authorities declared a state of emergency for 14 days.

Deforestation at the upstream area of a river was blamed as one reason for the disaster.

A total of 41 people were seriously injured and 75 others had minor wounds.