24 February 2006

Landslides hit popular dive destination

Torrential rain has triggered floods and landslides around the popular dive destination of Manado in Indonesia. Rescue officials said at least 26 people were killed by falling mud in the North Sulawesi provincial capital on Wednesday.

According to latest reports, parts of the city were flooded in up to a 1m of water following torrential downpours. Hundreds have been left homeless and dozens injured after waters swept away houses, schools and bridges.

The Meteorological and Geophysical Agency said the current rainfall was more than double the average for this time of year.

Manado is one of the most popular diving destinations in Indonesia because of the rich diversity of marine life in its waters. Two particularly celebrated diving areas off Manado include the Bunaken National Marine Park and the Lembeh Straits.

It is not yet clear how much damage the landslides have caused. Last month, around 130 people were also killed by landslides on the nearby island of Java.

Source: www.divemagazine.co.uk


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