10:37AM GMT 14 Dec 2014
Rescuers continued to search for more than 80 villagers still missing after a
landslide on Indonesia’s main island of Java killed at least 20 people,
officials said Sunday.
“As of Sunday, 20 people were killed… and 88 people were still missing,” the
National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
Fifteen people were injured, including 11 seriously, and 577 people were
evacuated to temporary shelters, he added.
Around 1,250 rescuers, including police, soldiers and volunteers, were digging
with shovels through mud and rubble to look for victims after torrential
downpours triggered a landslide and hit Jemblung village in central Java
“Today the search for survivors will be carried out using heavy excavation
equipment. The landslide has blocked road access since yesterday,” Nugroho
President Joko Widodo was travelling from the capital Jakarta to Central
Java’s provincial district of Banjarnegara on Sunday to meet with survivors.
“We are trying our best to look and evacuate those still buried. It’s a big
challenge because we are still using manual tools and the affected area is
very muddy,” Banjarnegara district military commander Edi Rahmatullah told
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 population of
250 million lives in areas prone to landslides.
The vast Indonesian archipelago is one of the most natural-disaster-prone
nations, and is also frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
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