Up to 18 killed in Indonesian landslide | india | Hindustan Times
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Up to 18 killed in Indonesian landslide

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 12:17 IST
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Up to 18 people were believed killed and eight injured Friday in a landslide in Indonesia's Sumatra island following heavy rains in the mountainous area, police said.

"From the information from the officials, we think that (18) is the number of people killed," local police official Bubi Sinto told the agency from Lembah Gumanti district.

"But we have only managed to recover the body of a 10-year-old boy because the soil is soft," he said.

MetroTV said the landslide occurred at 4:00 am (2100 GMT Thursday) in a remote valley below Mount Talang, 40 kms east of the West Sumatra provincial capital of Padang.

Sinto said the soft soil was hampering search and rescue efforts as it was impossible to bring in heavy equipment.

"The landslide is due to two straight days of heavy rain. There are frequent landslips but this is the worst we have seen," he said.

Local parliament spokesman Yulfadri Nurdin said rescue efforts were continuing but could be hampered by the remoteness of the area and difficult terrain.

Landslides and flash floods are not unusual in Indonesia, especially during the monsoon rains which typically hit a peak in January.

In April, flash flooding and landslides triggered by monsoon rains killed at least 23 people in East Java.

At least 12 people were killed in similar disasters in January on other islands in the archipelago nation, while more than 150 people were also killed on Java in two separate landslides.