A combination of rainfall and rising tides, as well as the possible effects of deforestation, sparked landslides that buried homes and killed at least 80 people in central Indonesia on Wednesday. Thousands were forced to evacuate the Java region, and officials say the death toll may still rise. The devastation came on the third anniversary of the Asian tsunami that killed nearly a quarter of a million people in 2004.


Television pictures showed people wading through chest-high water, clutching their belongings above their heads.

Landslides struck several areas, including the Tawangmangu area of Central Java, in Karanganyar district, and further south in Wonogiri.

The worst incident was reportedly in Karanganyar, where people were at a dinner celebrating the clean-up of a mud-covered home.

Rescue chief Eko Prayitno told Associated Press news agency: “They were having dinner together when they were hit by another landslide. At least 61 people were buried.”

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