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Rain triggers landslide in central Indonesia village, one dead, 28 missing

Local people had evacuated the village after warnings from officials, staying elsewhere during the nights, but many had returned in the mornings to work on their farms harvesting ginger.

world Updated: Apr 01, 2017 20:29 IST
AP, Ponorogo
Landslide,Indonesia,Indonesia landslide
Rescuers search for victims in a neighborhood hit by a landslide in the village of Banaran, East Java, Indonesia on Saturday.(AP Photo)

More than two dozen people were reported missing on Saturday after a rain-triggered landslide struck a village on Indonesia’s main island of Java. One body was found before the search was suspended as rainfall started again.

The landslide hit up to 30 houses and farmers harvesting ginger on a hillside in Banaran village in East Java province’s Ponorogo district, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesperson for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency.

The local mitigation agency said 28 people were buried, while a local army chief put the number of missing at 38, based on reports from villagers.

People look at a car damaged and partially buried under a collapsed house after the landslide. (Reuters Photo)

The landslide - measuring 800 meters (half a mile) long and 20 meters (66 feet) high - overturned vehicles, shattered and buried buildings, and left a massive scar on a hillside where lush vegetation had been torn away.

Nugroho said 17 people were injured and being treated at a hospital. “The search was halted and will be resumed tomorrow because the weather conditions and unstable terrain could lead to more landslides,” he said.

Disaster agency rescuers, soldiers, police officers and volunteers took part in the search for the missing, Nugroho said, adding that difficulties in accessing the disaster site hampered rescue efforts.

Seasonal rains cause frequent floods in Indonesia. Many of the country’s 256 million people live in mountainous areas or fertile, flood-prone plains near rivers.

First Published: Apr 01, 2017 14:35 IST