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Words in the News
Monday 03 November 2003
Sumatra floods
Sumatra map Dozens of people are believed to have been killed by a flash flood in a popular tourist area on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

This report from Tim Johnston.
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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 landslides are 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 entrenched interests including the army and influential politicians. Monday's flood is unlikely to be the last such tragedy.

Tim Johnston, BBC
Listen Listen to the words
flash flood
a sudden and violent flood
to establish the true scale
to find out the actual size
large amounts of earth moving or collapsing on a hillside
are a regular feature
happen often
cutting down trees to sell the wood
if you strip something you leave it bare
correspondingly heavy floods
floods which will be equally extreme
very profitable
firmly established
here: people who make a profit from logging
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