JAKARTA (Reuters) - The death toll from a burst dam which unleashed a wall of water on the outskirts of the Indonesian capital rose to 77 and authorities were searching for than 100 people still missing, officials said on Saturday.
Volunteers joined hundreds of rescue workers scouring through the rubble and a nearby river, officials said, after the Dutch colonial-era Situ Gintung dam collapsed early on Friday.
“The death toll may climb as authorities are focusing on finding the missing people,” said National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Priyadi Kardono.
Heavy rain overflowed the dam’s wall, sending water and mud crashing into a crowded residential area nearby.
While landslides and floods are fairly common during the rainy season in Indonesia, the latest disaster was probably caused by a combination of torrential rain and poor maintenance, officials said, reflecting years of under-investment in much of the country’s crucial infrastructure.
The dam collapse flattened at least 300 houses and about another 200 houses remained flooded, Kardono said.
Authorities have set up a relief post at a nearby university, while more than 500 police and military personnel combed the area, said Jakarta police spokesman Chrysnanda Dwilaksana.
Reporting by Karima Anjani; Editing by Paul Tait