Indonesia dam break death toll hits 91, dozens missing

March 29th, 2009 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, March 29 (DPA) Rescue teams searched Sunday for more than 100 people listed missing after a dam burst on the outskirts of Jakarta. The death toll has climbed to 91, officials said.
The National Disaster Coordinating Agency said up to 109 people were also injured after the Situ Gintung dam in the Tangerang district, just south of the capital, collapsed early Friday, unleashing a torrent of water that tore through a valley, inundating houses and surprising residents in their sleep with waves of mud and water.

The National Disaster Coordinating Agency spokesman Panji Sahrial Maulana said that as of Sunday morning, the death toll had risen to 91 with 102 others remaining missing. He said the search and rescue operation would continue for a week.

Hundreds of soldiers, police and volunteers took part in the search involving mechanical excavators and bulldozers, Panji said. Rescue teams are still concentrating in two worst-hit residential areas.

More than 500 residents became homeless and were staying at temporary shelters erected at several locations around the disaster area.

Residents have accused authorities of ignoring warning signs and failing to repair damage to the dam.

The dam was built in 1933 when Indonesia was under Dutch rule and its reservoir held 2 million cubic metres of water.

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