Indonesia landslide death toll rises to 50
Photo by Handout / INDONESIA DISASTER MITIGATION AGENCY / AFP
The death toll from a landslide on a remote Indonesian island rose to 50 with four people still missing on the last day of the search, an official said Wednesday.
The landslide struck the island of Serasan on 6 March, killing scores of residents in a village and burying houses under mud and debris.
“Until yesterday 50 people have been found dead, 49 of them have been identified while four others are still missing,” local government spokesperson Patli Muhamad told AFP.
At least eight of the dead were children, according to local search and rescue teams scouring the island, located in the Natuna region between Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.
Nearly 3,000 residents remain displaced and were being evacuated to several shelters, according to local authorities.
“They are afraid to go home because there are total blackouts in some villages,” Muhamad said.
Officials are planning to meet later on Wednesday to determine whether to extend the search and rescue operation.
During its rainy season, Indonesia is prone to landslides, which have been aggravated in some places by deforestation, with prolonged torrential rain causing flooding in some areas of the archipelago nation.
Meanwhile, a landslide triggered by heavy rains hit the city of Bogor, just outside the capital of Jakarta, late on Tuesday.
At least two people were killed and four others are still buried under the mud, the country’s disaster management agency said on Wednesday.
Experts say the country’s weather-related disasters are likely being made worse by climate change.
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