Natural disasters claim more than 100 lives in Indonesia

Floods, landslides and whirlwinds that hit many parts of Indonesia have claimed more than 100 lives so far this month, an official said here on Tuesday.

Indonesia should stay alert to possible dangers in the wet season in the coming months, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the national disaster agency.

“As the rainy season is going to peak up from January to March, the threat of flooding and landslide will keep lingering in many parts of Indonesia,” he told Xinhua via the phone.

According to data provided by the agency, there have been 182 cases of floods, landslides and whirlwinds since in January.

“These disasters have killed 137 people, crumpled 1,234 houses and displaced 1.1 million people,” he said, adding that the degrading environment was also a major factor.

Experts have blamed illegal logging and the failure to reforest denuded land in the vast archipelago country for driving up the flooding.

Seasonal downpours cause floods each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,500 islands where millions of people live in plains near rivers.