Indonesia: Rescuers search for dozens buried in landslides, 11 confirmed dead

Indonesia: Rescuers search for dozens buried in landslides, 11 confirmed dead

Rescuers search for 47 people believed to be buried in their homes landslide that spread to villages Indonesia`Remote Natuna Island after torrential rain. Officials said on Tuesday that 11 people had been confirmed dead.

Suharyanto, head of the National Disaster Management Agency, said eight other people were pulled out alive with injuries, three of them in serious condition.

They were taken to a hospital in nearby Ranai as well as Pontianak town on the island of Borneo, some 285 kilometers (180 mi) from the villages of Genting and Pangkalan. They are located on a remote island surrounded by choppy waters and high waves in the Natuna Archipelago off the South China Sea.

There were reports that 47 people were trapped in 27 houses buried under tons of mud from the surrounding hills on Monday. The landslide displaced over 1,200 people who were taken to evacuation centers and other shelters. Officials fear that the death toll could rise.

Abdul Muhri, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, said two helicopters and several ships carrying rescue workers, medical teams and relief supplies including tents, blankets and food had left for Jakarta and nearby islands.

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“Distribution of relief materials has become difficult as the injured and displaced are spread far and wide and are difficult to reach,” Muhari said. Search and rescue operations have been hampered by the rainy weather around the disaster site, communication lines snapped and lack of heavy equipment.

Seasonal rains and high tides in recent days have caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across much of Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or on fertile floodplains close to rivers.

In November 2022, a landslide triggered by a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in the city of Cianjur in West Java killed at least 335 people, nearly a third of whom were children.

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