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13 dead, 40,000 displaced in floods in Indonesia's North Sulawesi

By Kathy Quiano and Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 5:19 AM EST, Thu January 16, 2014
A man brings his belonging through the flooded area on January 13, 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
A man brings his belonging through the flooded area on January 13, 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • About 1,000 residents are stranded in villages isolated by the flooding
  • Indonesian authorities say two people are still missing
  • The disaster agency says the floods are worse than in previous years
  • They are partly caused by a weather system that has left 26 dead in the Philippines

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- Severe floods in northern Indonesia have left at least 13 people dead and driven tens of thousands of others from their homes in recent days, authorities said Thursday.

Landslides and rising waters have cut off several villages in one district of the province of North Sulawesi province, leaving about 1,000 residents stranded, the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (NDMA) said.

Heavy rains started drenching the region Tuesday and have resulted in about 40,000 people leaving their homes to seek temporary shelter, according to the NDMA.

Most of the deaths in North Sulawesi were reported Wednesday, authorities said, and two people are still missing.

Rain continues to punish Philippines

Power is down in most parts of the region and communication lines are disrupted.

There are four main rivers in Manado, the provincial capital, that are overflowing, the NDMA said.

This year's floods are far worse than previous ones, NDMA spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

The agency is working with the military, police, the search and rescue agency, Indonesian Red Cross and other groups as well as volunteers to help the tens of thousands of people affected by the flooding.

Heavy rains have also caused deadly landslides and flooding this week on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao -- roughly 500 kilometers (320 miles) north of North Sulawesi.

A low pressure area has battered parts of Mindanao with wind and rain since the weekend, leaving 26 people dead and displacing more than 200,000, according to Philippine authorities.

That weather system, along with another over northern Australia, helped generate the heavy rains over North Sulawesi, Indonesian authorities said.

CNN's Kathy Quiano reported from Jakarta, and Jethro Mullen reported and wrote from Hong Kong.

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