Hundreds missing in landslide

A landslide triggered by torrential downpours has killed at least eight people and left more than 100 missing on Indonesia’s main island of Java.

The National Agency for Disaster Management said hundreds of rescuers were digging through mud and rubble after the landslide buried scores of houses in Jemblung village in central Java late on Friday.

Hundreds were evacuated from the site in Banjarnegara regency, where media pictures showed a flood of mud and water cascading down a wooded mountain side.

“At the moment eight people have been found dead and we are still looking for 100 unaccounted for,” agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

“The challenge is that the evacuation route is also damaged by the landslide.

“Conditions on the ground are pretty tough and we need heavy machines to clear the road that has been covered by the landslide.”

A second agency official, who declined to give his name, said that 200 rescuers and 500 volunteers had joined the search for the missing.

The rainy season has started in tropical Indonesia, a time when landslides triggered by heavy rains and floods are common.

The national disaster agency estimates around half the country’s 250 million population lives in areas prone to landslides.


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