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At least 14 killed after flood and landslide hit Indonesia's Sulawesi island

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A flood and a landslide hit Indonesia's Sulawesi island, killing at least 14 people, officials said Saturday.

Torrential rain pounding the area since Thursday triggered a landslide in Luwu district in South Sulawesi province, said local rescue chief Mexianus Bekabel.

Floods up to 3 meters (10 feet) have affected 13 sub-districts as water and mud covered the area. More than 1,000 houses were affected, with 42 of them swept off their foundations.

A search and rescue team worked to evacuate residents using rubber boats and other vehicles. More than 100 residents have been moved to mosques or relatives' houses outside the affected area, National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said Saturday.

Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or in fertile floodplains.

In March, torrential rains triggered flash floods and a landslide on Indonesia's Sumatra island, killing at least 19 people and leaving 7 others missing, officials said. Rescuers pulled out bodies in the worst-hit village of Koto XI Tarusan, and recovered others in two neighboring villages, said National Disaster Management Agency's spokesperson Doni Yusrizal. Some were still missing.

He said that 46,000 people had fled to a temporary government shelter after the flood and landslide buried 14 houses while 20,000 houses were flooded up to the roof.

In 2023, a landslide caused by torrential rain killed at least 11 people and left dozens of others missing on an island in Indonesia's remote Natuna regency, disaster officials said. Tons of mud fell from surrounding hills onto houses in Serasan village in Natuna. Rescuers recovered at least 11 bodies and authorities fear that the death toll will rise, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said.

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