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15 dead after landslides, flooding hits Indonesia's South Sulawesi province

Jakarta [Indonesia]: At least 15 people died after heavy rains in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province triggered landslides and flooding, reported Al Jazeera.

Moreover, dozens of homes were swept away and roads damaged after the landslides, the country's disaster management agency said.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season, which began in January, with the problem aggravated in some areas by deforestation, and prolonged downpours.

Later, it caused floods in parts of the country, which comprises 17,000 islands, Al Jazeera reported.

The landslides struck Luwu regency in South Sulawesi on Friday, said Abdul Muhari, spokesperson of Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency (BNPB), in a statement on Saturday.

"A total of 14 residents died due to floods and landslides in Luwu regency," he said.

Meanwhile, in another area of South Sulawesi, at least one person died and two others were injured, Abdul said.

According to BNPB, over 100 houses were seriously damaged and 42 were swept away, while four roads and one bridge were damaged.

Additionally, around 115 people were evacuated to mosques or their relatives' homes and more than 1,300 families were affected by authorities trying to evacuate them, Al Jazeera reported.

Notably, Indonesia has suffered a string of recent extreme weather events during its rainy season, which, according to experts, are made more likely by climate change.

Last month, Volcano Mount Ruang erupted in Indonesia, prompting authorities to order evacuation for their safety.

Indonesia's geological agency raised the alert level on Sulawesi Island to its highest level, as the eruption blew clouds of ash, lava and rocks as high as two kilometers into the sky. As the volcano erupted, the authorities ordered to closure of the nearby international airport.

Earlier in March, flash floods and landslides on Sumatra Island killed at least 30 people.

In recent days, several Indonesian cities also reported extreme heat, but country's weather bureau, BMKG, said the rising temperatures were not part of a heatwave currently sweeping much of the Southeast Asian region. 

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