JAKARTA, Indonesia — Two landslides set off by heavy rainfall and unstable soil killed a minimum of 12 individuals on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, and left rescue employees looking for survivors, catastrophe officers mentioned Sunday.
Among these killed in the landslides in West Java Province had been the top of a neighborhood catastrophe reduction company and an Indonesian Army captain who had gone to assist rescue survivors from the primary landslide on Saturday afternoon. They had been caught in a second landslide that night.
The landslides additionally destroyed a bridge and lower off a number of roads in the West Java village of Cihanjuang. Rescuers labored into the night time however confronted an pressing want for heavy equipment to assist transfer earth and attain any potential survivors.
“The first landslide was triggered by high rainfall and unstable soil conditions,” mentioned Raditya Jati, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. “Subsequent landslides occurred while officers were still evacuating victims at the first landslide area.”
A girl whose household lives in the village, Dameria Sihombing, mentioned that her father, mom, nephew and niece had been at residence in the village on the time of the landslide. All 4 stay lacking, she mentioned by telephone from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital about 90 miles to the northwest.
The first mudslide buried the household’s residence, she mentioned, and the second slide, which was bigger than the primary, buried it even deeper. Many bystanders had been additionally in the trail of the second slide.
“Many people came to see the rescue team and suddenly the second landslide hit,” she mentioned. “There were more victims from the second one because it was much bigger than the first landslide. My family is buried inside the house and so far they haven’t been found.”
Ms. Sihombing mentioned her mother and father, each 60, moved to the village after retirement two years in the past from town of Bandung, about an hour away.
Many individuals weren’t in their properties on the time of the landslide as a result of it was afternoon, she mentioned. But amongst these at residence had been her mother and father’ neighbors — a mom and three kids. She didn’t know whether or not their our bodies had been discovered.
Deadly landslides are frequent in Indonesia, the place deforestation and unlawful small-scale gold mining operations typically contribute to unstable soil situations.
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, had warned in October that the nation might expertise extra flooding and landslides than common due to the periodic climate sample often called La Niña. The wet season is anticipated to final till March.
“I want all of us to prepare in anticipation of possible hydrometeorological disasters,” the president said at the time.
An area catastrophe official mentioned that by noon Sunday, rescuers had been nonetheless trying to find out how many individuals had been lacking. Eighteen individuals had been reported injured.
A video of the scene confirmed a river of mud that had plowed via a densely packed neighborhood, apparently crushing and protecting quite a lot of buildings.
One video clip from the scene offered by the National Search and Rescue Agency confirmed rescuers working at night time, lifting a body onto a stretcher and carrying it away.
Another confirmed a backhoe lifting a muddy van in order that rescuers might attain the bottom beneath. The van mentioned “Fight Virus” on the again.
The first landslide struck the village hours after a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet crashed into the Java Sea upon takeoff from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, in heavy rains, killing all 62 aboard.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,500 islands that straddles the Equator, was as soon as lined by huge rain forests. But during the last half-century, lots of the forests have been burned and logged to clear the way in which for palm plantations and different farmland.
With 270 million individuals, Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest nation and Java, its most populous island, is residence to greater than 140 million.