7 Apr 2011

Papua flooding death toll rises to 18

3:18 pm on 7 April 2011

Reports from Indonesia have put the death toll from the latest flooding in Papua province as high as 18.

Papua's Paniai regency has been badly affected by flash flooding since last week.

The floods have reportedly destroyed many homes and tens of thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate to higher ground.

Philip Charlesworth from the International Federation of the Red Cross in Jakarta says they are yet to receive a request for assistance but that information about the situation is difficult to access.

"The incident was as the result of quite lengthy periods of heavy rain that's overflowed the Paniai lake. The area to the east of the lake is low-lying and pretty much water-logged at the best of times so with extended periods of heavy rainfall, it's very easily inundated and that's been the case on this occasion."

Philip Charlesworth