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Death toll from Indonesian floods and landslides rises to 26

Residents ride a makeshift raft as they evacuate their flooded homes in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, on Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Masyudi Syachban Firmansyah)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- The governor of an Indonesian province inundated by torrential rains says the death toll from flooding and landslides has risen to 26.

South Sulawesi Gov. Nurdin Abdullah said in a TV interview Thursday that displaced people are still being evacuated.

Nine districts in the province including the capital Makassar have been affected by flooding that began late Tuesday, forcing thousands to flee their homes.

Adnan Purichta Ichsann, the chief of Gowa district near Makassar, has said operators of the Bili Bili rock-fill embankment dam were forced to release water on Tuesday, which contributed to flooding but avoided a worse disaster.

Adbullah told local media that siltation of the dam and deforestation of the upstream watershed had worsened the floods.

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