Indonesia floods, landslides kill 17

Four children were among 17 people killed over the weekend in central Indonesia after heavy rains triggered floods and landslides, officials said on Monday.

The children, aged between two and nine, died along with 13 adults when flooding and landslides hit the northern part of Sulawesi island early Sunday, provincial disaster management agency spokesman Howke Makawarung told AFP.

"We recorded 17 people killed. All bodies were found on Sunday," he said, adding that heavy rains had hit three areas, including the North Sulawesi provincial capital of Manado which saw water levels up to four metres (13 feet).

Water, which inundated around 5,000 houses in Manado, had receded by Monday and residents had begun cleaning up their homes.

A landslide which hit the city killed a six-year old boy.

"He was taking a bath in the morning when a landslide suddenly struck his house," the capital deputy mayor Harley Mangindaan told AFP.

Indonesia is regularly affected by deadly floods and landslides during its wet season, which lasts for around six months.

Environmentalists blame logging and a failure to reforest denuded land for exacerbating flooding.

Heavy rains caused flooding in the capital Jakarta in January that left 32 people dead and at its peak forced nearly 46,000 to flee their homes.

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