By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
A landslide in Indonesia’s Central Java has already claimed 32 lives, with 80 people missing as rescuers continue their search admist toughconditions.
According to a spokesperson from the National Disaster Management Agency, the landslide was caused by torrential rains hitting the village of Jemblung in Central Java late on Friday December 12 and by Sunday, 32 people were confirmed dead.
Nearly 1, 250 search and rescue personnel, which include volunteers, the police and soldiers, have been digging their way using heavy equipment, shovels and their bare hands, through roads overcome by debris, mud and a three-metre high pile of fallen trees and rubble on the main road leading to the site of the natural disaster, now described as a ‘tragedy’ by locals and state officials.
Survivors of the landslide were in need of food, clothing, medicine and other basic necessities with 577 people evacuated to temporary shelters.
Indonesia is prone to landslides during the wet season and it is estimated that half the country’s population of 250 million live in areas vulnerable to landslides.
Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo is expected to travel to Banjarnegara to meet with survivors and has urged the Governor of Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo to evacuate victims of the landslide tragedy.
“I am in grief over the landslide that struck Jemblung village. Landslides can be a lesson to us, on the importance of maintaining environmental balance,” the president posted on his Facebook page.
Officials from the National Disaster Management Agency said that people had died from being trapped under the soil and many survivors were injured from being hit by debris, and are now being treated for their injuries at the local hospital.