1 dead, 28 missing after landslide in Indonesia’s East Java


JAKARTA: At least one person was killed and 28 are feared buried on Saturday (Apr 1) after a landslide struck a village in Indonesia’s East Java, said the national disaster agency.

A wall of mud slammed onto houses from a hillside after heavy rainfall, damaging dozens of homes in Ponorogo district.

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Seventeen people were injured and sent for treatment to a local hospital, according to National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho who added that the military, police and volunteers worked to search the area for the missing.

“We are still searching for 28 other missing people, but the search operation has ended for today. We will continue searching if the weather is good Sunday morning,” said Sutopo.

Many residents had evacuated the village after warnings from officials of the risk of a landslide, staying elsewhere during the night, but many had returned in the mornings to work on their farms harvesting ginger.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the lack of heavy machinery to move the earth, said the disaster agency spokesman.

Landslides are not uncommon in Indonesia. Last February, 12 people including three children died in a landslide on the holiday island of Bali. In September, almost 30 people died in devastating floods and landslides in Garut, West Java.