12 dead, nearly 100 missing in Indonesian landslide – Official
AFP | Updated: December 13, 2014
(First published on: December 13, 2014 14:00 MYT)
The landslide swept down a hillside in the village, sparing only two houses, an AFP correspondent said.
TV footage showed bystanders watching the emergency effort while rescuers passed an orange body bag by hand through the muddy area.
“We found 12 bodies at the moment, and we are searching for 96 others,” an officer at the emergency centre at the scene of the disaster told AFP, asking not to be identified.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said it was unclear whether those missing were buried under the landslide or had taken refuge.
“Conditions on the ground are pretty tough and we need heavy machines to clear the road that has been covered by the landslide,” Nugroho added.
Officials said that the ground was still unstable and most rescue work was being carried out manually. Heavy machines were trying to clear mud that had cut access to the location.
There was no phone signal in the area, making coordinating rescuing efforts difficult, they added.
The agency said that 200 rescuers and 500 volunteers had joined the search for the missing.
Landslides triggered by heavy rains and floods are common in tropical Indonesia during the rainy season.
The national disaster agency estimates around half the country’s 250 million population lives in areas prone to landslides.
The vast Indonesian archipelago is one of the most natural-disaster-prone nations on Earth, and is also frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Indonesia landslide: Many missing in Java
At least eight people have died and more than 100 are missing after a landslide on Indonesia’s main island of Java.
Heavy rain caused the landslide near Jemblung village in central Java.
Disaster agency officials said rescue teams had taken almost 40 people to hospital, of whom four were in critical condition.
Hundreds of rescuers, including police and soldiers, have been trying to find survivors.
The country’s national disaster agency said hundreds of houses had been destroyed by the landslide.
“Conditions on the ground are pretty tough and we need heavy machines to clear the road that has been covered by the landslide,” agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
Flash floods and landslides are common in Indonesia, triggered by seasonal downpours.
Many of the inhabitants of the chain of 17,000 islands live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.