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April 19, 2014

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Landslides kill 11 in Indonesia’s Papua province

Updated Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 | 9:11 p.m.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides that killed at least 11 people in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua, an official said Monday.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said two people are still missing after the landslides hit three locations in the provincial capital of Jayapura.

More than 50 houses have been damaged in the landslides and flooding due to incessant rains that began Saturday night, he said. Rains also caused three rivers in the city to overflow.

Rescuers, including soldiers, police and volunteers, were still searching for the missing two and opening access to the affected areas, Nugroho said.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a vast chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.