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Landslides Kill At Least 14 in Indonesia

Torrential rains triggered a series of landslides on Indonesia's Sulawesi island, killing at least 14 residents and burying many more, a local official said Monday.

The downpours sent a mass of mud slamming into about 20 houses in the outskirts of the town of Palopo, South Sulawesi province, Mayor Pateddungi Tenri Ajeng said Monday.

Rescuers pulled 14 victims from under the earth and debris that hit one neighborhood overnight Sunday, he said. Police, soldiers and villagers continued to search for an unknown number of people still missing.

Several other landslides cut off access to the town, Tenri Ajeng said, but those slides were not believed to have caused damage or fatalities.

Several days of flooding cut off villages and submerged more than 3,600 houses in the area, local media reported, forcing people to seek higher ground.

Landslides and flooding kill scores of people every year during the monsoon season in Indonesia, a tropical archipelago with a population of 235 million. Many people live and farm the fertile, but unstable mountain slopes.

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