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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
Seven dead in Indonesia flooding
At least seven people have been killed and many thousands forced to flee their homes because of floods and landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Dozens of people are reportedly still missing after days of heavy rains led to flooding in Morowali district.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by difficulties in accessing the remote areas as well as the continuing bad weather and rising water levels.

Heavy rains regularly cause flash floods and landslides in Indonesia.

Many experts say the problems have been exacerbated by deforestation, which makes it easier for rain to penetrate the soil and dislodge it.

At least 16,000 people had been forced to leave their homes and head for higher ground after days of heavy rain, the government's head of emergency services said.

One man trying to leave the flooded area said people did not have enough food, and were looking for buildings to shelter in until aid arrived.

Emergency rice aid was stuck at a harbour several hours away waiting for rough waves to subside, the BBC's Lucy Williamson in Jakarta reports.

Local officials have warned that the death toll could rise once more rescuers reach the affected areas.

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