Indonesian landslide leaves 15 dead in West Java

By AFP   January 1, 2019 | 06:59 pm PT
Indonesian landslide leaves 15 dead in West Java
Rescue workers search for victims near a collapsed house following landslides at Cisolok district in Sukabumi, West Java province, Indonesia, January 1, 2019. Photo by Reuters
Rescuers are searching for survivors after a landslide triggered by heavy rain left at least 15 people dead and dozens missing in western Indonesia, an official said Tuesday.

The landslide occurred shortly before sunset on Monday in West Java province. Search and rescue teams said they have found 15 people dead and are scouring the area for at least 25 missing.

Pouring rain, power cuts and rough roads are preventing heavy machinery from accessing the area in Sukabumi regency, disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

"Relief efforts have also been hampered by a lot of people who want to get to the disaster," he said.

"The roads are narrow which has caused rescue teams, logistics and ambulances to be stuck in traffic jams."

The search operation has halted for the day but will resume Wednesday morning.

Four people have been injured in the disaster and 60 others evacuated from the area, Nugroho said.

Landslides are common in Indonesia, a vast tropical archipelago prone to natural disasters and torrential downpours.

More than 20 people died in October when flash floods and landslides hit several provinces on Sumatra island, western Indonesia.

In June 2016, nearly 50 people died when floods and landslides struck Central Java province.

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