TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Rescuers raced to find tens of missing people as the death toll from floods and landslides in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province jumped to at least 59, according to authorities.
Heavy rainfall and strong winds forced some 3,400 people to evacuate their homes in southern part of Sulawesi island on Wednesday and Thursday, swelling rivers that burst their banks and inundating dozens of communities in nine districts.
Gowa district suffered the heaviest casualties, with 44 people found dead, said Syamsibar, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
One major highway was blocked, prompting authorities to deliver aid via helicopter, according to local media. Parts of the provincial capital, Makassar, were also affected, Al-Jazeera reported.
Aerial images showed muddy brown water covering swaths of lands and, in some areas, rushing water washing away houses and debris.
Residents waded through streets filled with waist-deep water, some carrying their belongings on their heads, as they fled to temporary shelters and field kitchens set up by the disaster mitigation agency.
On Thursday, the agency said that while flooding in the province was receding "the search and evacuation process is still ongoing".
The floods also damaged houses, government buildings, schools and bridges.
Landslides and flooding are common in disaster-prone Indonesia, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rain lashes the vast Southeast Asian archipelago.
In October, flash floods and landslides killed at least 22 people in several districts across Sumatra island.