Landslides kill 61 people in Indonesia | world | Hindustan Times
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Landslides kill 61 people in Indonesia

world Updated: Dec 26, 2007 11:07 IST

Hours of heavy rain triggered landslides on Wednesday that killed at least 61 people in western Indonesia, media reports said.

The deaths occurred in several districts on the main island of Java after more than 12 hours of nonstop rain, el-Shinta radio station reported. Metro TV put the death toll at 59. Both said additional villagers were missing.

Authorities could not immediately be reached to confirm the reports.

Metro TV reported that rescue officials were trying to reach the scene of the landslides, 500 kilometers (300 miles) east of the capital Jakarta.

The report said there was little chance of getting heavy lifting equipment to affected areas because of roads blocked by landslides.

No other details were immediately available.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, where millions of people live in mountainous regions and near fertile flood plains close to rivers.

Some environmentalists and government officials say deforestation is often a factor in the disasters, which they contend loosens soils on mountainsides.