October 22, 2019
International

Indonesian rescuers fear nearly 30 people buried in Java landslide

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian rescuers, joined by police and soldiers, found one body and continued to look for 28 other people feared to be buried after a landslide triggered by heavy rain on Indonesia’s Java island, a spokesman for the national disaster agency said.

The mud and debris from Saturday’s landslide in a village in the Ponorogo area of East Java had engulfed more than 20 houses after sliding 800 metres (875 yards) down a hillside, National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Some of the victims were believed to include a group harvesting a crop of ginger in fields around the village, he said.

Seventeen people had been injured and were being treated at a community health centre.

Rescue efforts were hampered by people flocking to the area to see the landslide and causing traffic jams, he said earlier.

The local disaster mitigation agency had warned of the risk of a landslide due to recent rain, and some people had only returned to the village on Saturday after staying the night in a shelter, said the official.

(Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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