Heavy rains, landslides trigger flooding in Indonesia; 16 dead, dozens missing

Floods and landslides killed at least 16 people and displaced hundreds in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, according to officials, as rescuers continued the search for 23 missing people.

The flooding was triggered by heavy rains that caused three rivers to overflow, began on Monday evening and has since affected more than 4,000 residents of six subdistricts in North Luwu.

Raditya Jati, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said on Wednesday that mud covering the main road into North Luwu district had blocked access to affected areas.

Indonesia frequently suffers from floods and landslides particularly during the rainy season, though the situation is often made worse by the cutting down of forests.

In January, flooding killed 66 people in the capital, Jakarta, amid some of the heaviest rain since records began.