The flash flood hit early on Monday morning after a night of heavy rain swelled the river Boharok in northern Sumatra. The flood brought down telephone lines in the area and local authorities are still trying to establish the true scale of the tragedy and the nationalities of those involved. Fatal floods and landslidesare a regular feature of the wet season in Indonesia, but they are becoming more common and more deadly as population pressure and illegal logging strip the land of the cover which used to absorb much of the rains. This year's rains follow a particularly dry period and environmentalists have been warning of correspondingly heavy floods. Attempts to preserve the environment have been only partially successful. Illegal logging is a lucrative business that enriches many of the country's most entrenchedinterests including the army and influential politicians. Monday's flood is unlikely to be the last such tragedy.