New woes for Aceh as floods kill 90, force 300,000 to flee

Two years after the devastating tsunami, Indonesia`s Aceh province was today grappling with more tragedy after floods and landslides killed at least 90 people and left thousands waiting to be rescued.

Bireuen(Indonesia), Dec 25: Two years after the
devastating tsunami, Indonesia's Aceh province was today
grappling with more tragedy after floods and landslides killed
at least 90 people and left thousands waiting to be rescued.

Troops and volunteer rescue workers were attempting to
reach thousands of people trapped by the floods, which have
forced around 300,000 to flee their homes on the island of
Sumatra.

Aceh was the worst hit, with 60 dead in one district
alone as the region prepared to mark the second anniversary of
the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean catastrophe.

Whole villages have been swallowed by flood waters
following a week of torrential rains.

Aceh Governor Mustafa Abubakar said six helicopters were
transporting supplies to people stranded by the floods. A Navy
warship was already in the area with another on the way, said
Abubakar, who is coordinating relief and rescue efforts.

"Relief efforts are starting to be more coordinated.
We've started dropping relief supplies from the air in
isolated areas," he told a news agency.

Only house roofs and the minarets of mosques showed above
the muddy brown waters in the worst-hit district of Aceh
Tamiyang in aerial photographs taken by the Aceh and Nias
rehabilitation and reconstruction agency.

Villagers were shown sheltering on higher ground
surrounded by flood waters, with some people floating
precariously on logs.

Some 150,000 people in Aceh Tamiyang have taken refuge on
higher ground but water levels remained high, local police
chief Agus Santoso told Elshinta news radio.

Bureau Report

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