March 19, 2019 2:10 am

Death toll from Indonesian flash floods and mudslides climbs to 89

Residents carry their belongings as they wade through flood water in Sentani, near Jayapura, Papua province, Indonesia, 18 March 2019. At least 79 people were killed and 43 missing as a flash floods hit Sentani on 16 March, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

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The death toll from flash floods and mudslides triggered by torrential downpours in eastern Indonesia has risen to 89, with dozens of others missing.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho says the worst-hit area from the flooding was Sentani subdistrict, where tons of mud, rocks and trees from a landslide on a mountain rolled down to a river that burst its banks, sweeping away residents.

WATCH: Dec. 26, 2018 — Possible extreme weather creates new danger as Indonesia recovers from tsunami

He said Tuesday that 89 bodies had been pulled from the mud and wreckage of crumpled homes and 159 people were injured.

Rescuers were searching for 74 residents reportedly missing.

READ MORE: Death toll climbs to 79 after flash floods, earthquake hits Indonesia

Papua military spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi said more than 1,600 rescuers, including police and soldiers, were facing difficulties clearing huge piles of debris due to shortages of heavy equipment.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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