World | Asia

December 14, 2014

Indonesia landslide: Many Missing in Java

At least 18 people have died and more than 90 are missing after a landslide on Indonesia's main island of Java.
A landslide in central Java, Indonesia Landslides are common in Indonesia during the rainy season

A landslide in central Java, Indonesia Landslides are common in Indonesia during the rainy season

Heavy rain caused the landslide near Jemblung village in central Java.

Rescuers are searching for survivors but a lack of heavy equipment left many forced to dig with their bare hands until tractors and bulldozers arrived.

Disaster agency officials said rescue teams had taken about 40 people to hospital, of whom four were said to be in a critical condition.

Relief efforts were suspended on Saturday afternoon after more rain.

The country's national disaster agency said hundreds of houses had been destroyed by the landslide, with more than 400 residents moved to temporary shelters.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the agency, said some rescuers had heard what sounded like calls for help coming from the debris, but lacked the equipment needed to reach them.

"Conditions on the ground are pretty tough and we need heavy machines to clear the road that has been covered by the landslide," he told reporters.

A landslide in a nearby village on Thursday killed one man and forced hundreds to evacuate.

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.

 

Text by BBC
 

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