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Floods, landslide kill 15 in Indonesian town

Written by: Staff
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JAKARTA, Apr 20 (Reuters) At least 15 people were killed today when a landslide and floods triggered by weeks of torrential rain swept through a town on Indonesia's Java island, a government official said.

At least 13 died when a torrent of mud buried homes in the East Java town of Trenggalek, nearly 600 km east of Jakarta, the town's regent, Soeharto, told Reuters.

Another two people were swept away by floodwaters.

''The flood happened after two weeks of successively heavy rain. Water levels reached 5 metres high,'' Soeharto said.

Residents have been asked to evacuate because of fears of more flooding.

Soeharto blamed deforestation for the landslide.

Floods and landslides are common in Indonesia, especially at this time of the year during the wet season. Many landslides are caused by illegal logging or the clearing of farmland that strips away natural barriers to such disasters.

But logging has come under the spotlight around the East Java villages. Landslides killed at least 130 people on Java island in January.

REUTERS SHB BST1458

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