8 Oct 2010

Illegal logging seen as factor in Papua flood disaster

2:25 pm on 8 October 2010

Indonesia's Forestry Minister has suggested that illegal logging has been a causal factor in the devastation brought by deadly flooding in West Papua province.

Reports from Indonesia have put the death toll from the flash flooding in the Teluk Wandama district as high as 110, with the figure expected to rise.

Crippled air and transport links continue to hamper rescue and relief efforts in Wasior which was the worst-hit area where many villages remain submerged by mud and debris.

The Jakarta Post reports that the Minister, Zulkifli Hasan, has assumed that the flooding was caused by illegal logging and territorial division under which a large forest area was transformed into a city.