At Least 12 Dead in 2 Landslides in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Two landslides set off by heavy rainfall and unstable soil killed a minimum of 12 individuals on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, and left rescue staff trying to find survivors, catastrophe officers stated Sunday.

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

The landslides additionally destroyed a bridge and minimize 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 doable survivors.

“The primary landslide was triggered by excessive rainfall and unstable soil circumstances,” stated Raditya Jati, spokesman for the Nationwide Catastrophe Mitigation Company. “Subsequent landslides occurred whereas officers have been nonetheless evacuating victims on the first landslide space.”

Lethal landslides are frequent in Indonesia, the place deforestation and illegal small-scale gold mining operations typically contribute to unstable soil circumstances.

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

“I would like all of us to organize in anticipation of doable hydrometeorological disasters,” the president said at the time.

A neighborhood catastrophe official stated that by noon Sunday, rescuers have been nonetheless making an attempt to find out how many individuals have been lacking. Eighteen individuals have 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 overlaying quite a few buildings.

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

One other confirmed a backhoe lifting a muddy van in order that rescuers may attain the bottom beneath. The van stated “Struggle Virus” on the again.

The primary 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. However during the last half-century, most 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 house to greater than 140 million.

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