Indonesia landslides kill 11, injure 18 in West Java

Monsoon rains and rising rivers submerged parts of the capital city of Jakarta and caused landslides in neighbouring regions.
Monsoon rains and rising rivers submerged parts of the capital city of Jakarta and caused landslides in neighbouring regions.PHOTO: BNPB INDONESIA/TWITTER

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Landslides caused by heavy rain in western Indonesia killed 11 and injured 18, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said on Sunday (Jan 10).

The landslides at Cihanjuang Village in West Java, about 150km south-east of the capital Jakarta took place at 4pm and 7.30pm on Saturday, 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," Mr Raditya added.

The death toll was preliminary as of Sunday morning, he said, adding that potential rain and thunderstorms through the day may hamper rescue efforts.

President Joko Widodo in October warned Indonesia that heavy rains from the La Nina weather system could trigger flooding and landslides, and affect 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.