At least 17 people were killed and over 90 went missing in a landslide that destroyed an entire Indonesian village. Soldiers and rescue team members had been using their bare hands, shovels and hoes to uncover bodies of the missing people from under the slush caused due to torrential rains.
About 105 houses were swept by the landslide late on Friday night in Banjarnegara district's Jemblung village in Central Java, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency told Chron. Banjarnegara is about 460 kilometers (285 miles) east of Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
Rescuers have uncovered 17 corpses and suspended searching for the 91 missing people a day after Friday's landslides buried dozens of houses in Indonesia's Java island, IANS reports. Thirty-eight injured villagers were taken to a hospital, of which four are in critical condition. Of the bodies uncovered by the rescue workers, one is that of an 8-year-old boy.
"Jemblung village was the most affected," Nugroho said in a statement. "Rescuers are still trying to find more victims. The challenge is that the evacuation route is also damaged by the landslide."
About 380 residents of the village and nearby areas have been evacuated to several temporary shelters. "Mud, rugged terrain and bad weather hampered our rescue efforts," Nugroho said, appealing for more heavy equipment to manoeuvre in the tough conditions of the landslide-hit area.
Mud and rocks also hit nearby village in Central Java's Wonosobo district on Thursday, killing at least one resident.
Seasonal rains and high tides cause landslides, flash floods and mudslides frequently in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands, during the monsoon season, which usually runs from October until April. The country's location on the edges of the Pacific, Eurasian, and Australian tectonic plates also makes it prone to numerous volcanic eruptions and frequent earthquakes.
This devastating landslide is the second one in several days on densely populated Java Island.