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At Least 12 Dead in 2 Landslides in Indonesia

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — Two landslides set off by heavy rainfall and unstable soil killed not less than 12 individuals on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, and left rescue staff trying to find survivors, catastrophe officers stated Sunday.

Among these killed within the landslides in West Java Province had been the top of a neighborhood catastrophe reduction company and an Indonesian Army captain who had gone to assist rescue survivors from the primary landslide on Saturday afternoon. They had been caught in a second landslide that night.

The landslides additionally destroyed a bridge and lower off a number of roads within the West Java village of Cihanjuang. Rescuers labored into the evening however confronted an pressing want for heavy equipment to assist transfer earth and attain any attainable survivors.

“The first landslide was triggered by high rainfall and unstable soil conditions,” stated Raditya Jati, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. “Subsequent landslides occurred while officers were still evacuating victims at the first landslide area.”

A lady whose household lives within the village, Dameria Sihombing, stated that her father, mom, nephew and niece had been at home within the village on the time of the landslide. All 4 stay lacking, she stated by telephone from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital about 90 miles to the northwest.

The first mudslide buried the household’s home, she stated, and the second slide, which was bigger than the primary, buried it even deeper. Many bystanders had been additionally within the path of the second slide.

“Many people came to see the rescue team and suddenly the second landslide hit,” she stated. “There were more victims from the second one because it was much bigger than the first landslide. My family is buried inside the house and so far they haven’t been found.”

Ms. Sihombing stated her dad and mom, each 60, moved to the village after retirement two years in the past from the town of Bandung, about an hour away.

Many individuals weren’t of their properties on the time of the landslide as a result of it was afternoon, she stated. But amongst these at home had been her dad and mom’ neighbors — a mom and three kids. She didn’t know whether or not their our bodies had been discovered.

Deadly landslides are widespread in Indonesia, the place deforestation and unlawful small-scale gold mining operations usually contribute to unstable soil circumstances.

Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, had warned in October that the nation might expertise extra flooding and landslides than typical due to the periodic climate sample referred to as La Niña. The wet season is predicted to final till March.

“I want all of us to prepare in anticipation of possible hydrometeorological disasters,” the president stated on the time.

A neighborhood catastrophe official stated that by noon Sunday, rescuers had been nonetheless trying to find out how many individuals had been lacking. Eighteen individuals had been reported injured.

A video of the scene confirmed a river of mud that had plowed by means of a densely packed neighborhood, apparently crushing and protecting a lot of buildings.

One video clip from the scene offered by the National Search and Rescue Agency confirmed rescuers working at evening, lifting a physique onto a stretcher and carrying it away.

Another confirmed a backhoe lifting a muddy van in order that rescuers might attain the bottom beneath. The van stated “Fight Virus” on the again.

The first landslide struck the village hours after a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet crashed into the Java Sea upon takeoff from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, in heavy rains, killing all 62 aboard.

Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,500 islands that straddles the Equator, was as soon as lined by huge rain forests. But during the last half-century, lots of the forests have been burned and logged to clear the way in which for palm plantations and different farmland.

With 270 million individuals, Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest nation and Java, its most populous island, is home to greater than 140 million.

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