Indonesian dam burst toll reaches 98

March 30th, 2009 - 4:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, March 30 (DPA) Indonesian rescue teams intensified their search Monday for more than 100 people missing in a dam burst on the outskirts of Jakarta as the death toll rose to 98, officials said.
The National Disaster Coordinating Agency said 11 of the 98 people confirmed dead were unable to be identified while as many as 115 people remained unaccounted for. Up to 113 others were injured in the accident.

The Situ Gintung dam just south-west of Jakarta, collapsed Friday, sending a wall of water surging through a valley, inundating hundreds of homes and buildings and surprising residents in their sleep with waves of mud and water.

Hundreds of police and military rescuers as well as volunteers continued to scour for more bodies on the fourth day of the search, said Rahma, a volunteer at a nearby command post who, like many Indonesians, uses only one name.

Officials said more than 360 residents became homeless in the deluge and were staying at nearby temporary shelters.

Residents and some environmentalists have blamed government authorities for ignoring warning signs and failing to repair damage to the dam. They said the 76-year-old dam had been poorly maintained.

The dam, which held 2 million cubic metres of water, was built in 1933 when Indonesia was under Dutch rule.

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