At least 101 people have died after flash floods and landslides hit Indonesia and East Timor on Sunday. Torrential rain sparked widespread destruction in the South East Asian neighbors, with water from overflowing dams submerging thousands of homes. The country’s disaster agency has estimated that nearly half of the country’s population – some 125 million people – live in parts of the country at risk of landslides.
As Indonesia continues to count the number of dead from last week’s earthquake on Sulawesi island, search and rescue teams are being stretched to breaking point. Flooding in South Kalimantan has killed more than a dozen people and displaced tens of thousands. Meanwhile, two volcanoes on the most populous island, Java, are spewing ash into the air, with hundreds of people evacuated.
Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia – a wild pig – believed to be drawn 45,500 years ago. Painted using dark red ochre pigment, the life-sized picture of the Sulawesi warty pig appears to be part of a narrative scene. The painting may be the world’s oldest art depicting a figure, but it is not the oldest human-produced art.
Indonesian divers on Tuesday retrieved from the sea bed the flight data recorder (FDR) of a Sriwijaya Air plane that crashed into the Java Sea with 62 people on board at the weekend, officials said. With few immediate clues on what happened after takeoff, investigators will rely heavily on the flight recorders to determine what went wrong.
Authorities said they determined the location of the crash site and black boxes of a Boeing 737-500 on Sunday, a day after the aircraft crashed into the Java Sea with 62 people on board shortly after taking off from Indonesia’s capital. The head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency said officials believe they identified the location of the black boxes because emergency signals transmitted by the devices were detected by a navy ship’s sonar system.
A radical cleric linked to the Bali bombings has been released from an Indonesian prison. Abu Bakar Bashir, 82, is the former head of Jemaah Islamiyah – an al Qaeda-linked group responsible for the 2002 attack on the popular holiday island. Two bomb blasts killed 202 people – many of them foreign tourists. Bashir denied all links to the incident, and Indonesian authorities struggled to prove his involvement.
Indonesia’s Mount Ili Lewotolok has erupted, belching a column of smoke and ash 4km (2.5 miles) into the sky, triggering a flight warning and the closure of the local airport. There were no reports of injuries or damage from the eruption on Sunday in a remote part of the Southeast Asian archipelago. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country.
Almost 300 Rohingya refugees believed to have been at sea for six months landed in Indonesia’s Aceh province early on Monday, Indonesian authorities said. Acehnese police said a wooden boat carrying the Rohingya was spotted by local fishermen several miles off the coast of Lhokseumawe. Fleeing persecution in Myanmar and refugee camps in Bangladesh, the Rohingya have for years boarded boats in an attempt to seek refuge in other Southeast Asian nations.
Flash floods and landslides killed at least 30 people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and left hundreds displaced, authorities said on Thursday. Fifteen people remain missing, Indonesia search rescue agency spokesman Yusuf Latif said in a statement. The flash floods struck the North Luwu district of South Sulawesi province after heavy rain on Monday caused three nearby rivers to burst. More than 4,000 residents were affected.
Graphic photos of the bloodied victims of what appear to be gunshot wounds have emerged after another day of violence in West Papua, which has seen at least 26 people killed and 70 injured. Four people were killed, including a military officer, and several others injured when Indonesian security forces opened fire on students following a protest about racism at a university in Jayapura on Monday.