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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

413 Die in Drought

n JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Famine and disease from the worst drought in half a century have claimed at least 413 lives in the western half of New Guinea, news reports said Tuesday.


The newspaper Kompas quoted a government official in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya as saying 391 people had died since August in the Jayawijaya district, in the mountainous and remote interior. Another 22 people died in Merauke, on the southern coast, in the same period.


Drought also has caused food shortages and health problems in Papua New Guinea, which borders Irian Jaya to the east. Authorities there, however, have not attributed any deaths to the lack of rain.