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Death toll in Indonesia flash flood rises to 21; 2 missing

The death toll from a flash flood in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province rose to 21 on Wednesday with two people still missing, an official said.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Raditya Jati said search and rescue operations were hampered by thick mud covering roads and houses, and rain was continuing to fall.

Ten other people were injured in the flooding, which affected six subdistricts in the province, he said. As of Wednesday evening, 2,650 people had been evacuated.

Cars are stuck in mud at an area affected by flash flood in Masamba, South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Rescuers on Wednesday were searching for missing people after heavy rains in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province swelled rivers and send floodwaters, mud and debris across roads and into thousands of homes. (AP PhotoKhaizuran Muchtamir)

North Luwu district official Indah Putri Indriani said the flooding began Monday evening and was triggered by heavy rains that caused three rivers to overflow.

Heavy rains cause frequent landslides and flash floods in Indonesia, where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near flood plains.

Cars are stuck in mud at an area affected by flash flood in Masamba, South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Rescuers on Wednesday were searching for missing people after heavy rains in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province swelled rivers and send floodwaters, mud and debris across roads and into thousands of homes. (AP PhotoKhaizuran Muchtamir)

People walk on debris at an area affected by flash flood in Masamba, South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Rescuers on Wednesday were searching for missing people after heavy rains in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province swelled rivers and send floodwaters, mud and debris across roads and into thousands of homes. (AP PhotoKhaizuran Muchtamir)