Landslides in Indonesia leave at least 11 dead, 18 injured

Landslides in Indonesia leave at least 11 dead, 18 injured

Indonesia Cihanjuang landslide
A landslide in Cihanjuang village in Indonesia's West Java province on Jan 9, 2021 has killed at least 11 people. (Photo: Twitter/@BNPB_Indonesia)

JAKARTA: Two landslides triggered by heavy rain in Indonesia left at least 11 dead and 18 injured, officials said on Sunday (Jan 10).

The landslides at Cihanjuang Village in West Java, about 150km southeast of the capital Jakarta, took place at 4pm and 7.30pm on Saturday, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Raditya Jati said in a statement.

"The first landslide was triggered by high rainfall and unstable soil conditions. The subsequent landslide occurred while officers were still evacuating victims around the first landslide area," Raditya said.

Rescuers who were still evacuating people following the first disaster were among the victims, he added.

An ambulance is being lifted after it was buried in a landslide in Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia
An ambulance is being lifted after it was buried in a landslide in Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia, January 9, 2021, in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. Rescue Motor Indonesia/via REUTERS
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The death toll was preliminary as of Sunday morning, Raditya said, adding that potential rain and thunderstorms through the day may hamper rescue efforts.

The rain stopped on Saturday night. A bridge and some roads were blocked by the landslides as authorities struggled to bring in heavy equipment to clear the debris.

Seasonal rains and high tide 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 near fertile flood plains close to rivers.

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President Joko Widodo in October warned Indonesia that heavy rains from the La Nina weather system could trigger flooding and landslides, affecting the nation's agricultural output. A La Nina pattern is characterised by unusually cold temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Indonesia frequently suffers floods and landslides, particularly during the rainy season from November to March, a situation often worsened by the cutting down of forests.

Source: Agencies/dv/jt

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