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More than 70,000 people displaced in the country

Flooding kills at least 16 in Indonesia

Digital writers

Sunday, January 19, 2014, 9:35 AM -

At least 16 people are dead and more than 40,000 had to leave their homes after the North Sulawesi province in Indonesia was hit with devastating floods. 

Heavy rainfall began on Tuesday and after a brief recess this weekend, could continue for the entire upcoming week. The increased precipitation led to four of the main rivers in Manado to burst their banks and cover the nearby streets with water. 

The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono addressed the nation earlier in the week reassuring those affected that help was on its way. Emergency aid such as food and medicine is being sent to three cities in the North Sulawesi province. 

The flooding has also left many smaller communities stranded, with more than 1,000 residents unable to reach any major cities. Power has been down for much of the region. 

The country's capital Jakarta hasn't fared much better. More than 30,000 people were forced to evacuate after incessant rain led to flash flooding. The rain is expected to remain high until early February. 

RELATED: Major flooding, volcanic eruptions in Indonesia 

Officials announced that they will begin implementing weather modification technology in the hopes of reducing the amount of rain the country sees between January-March. The initiatives combine spraying salt into clouds to trigger rainfall before they enter key regions, as well as emit gases that could prevent cloud formation. 

The nearby Philippines Island of Mindanao was also hit with heavy rain leaving 26 dead and forcing 200,000 people to relocate.

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