Indonesia landslides kill at least 11, scores missing

Rescuers from the Indonesian Red Cross searching for survivors yesterday after torrential rain triggered landslides in the town of Sumedang in West Java province on Saturday. Residents and a rescue team that had been searching for the initial victims
Rescuers from the Indonesian Red Cross searching for survivors yesterday after torrential rain triggered landslides in the town of Sumedang in West Java province on Saturday. Residents and a rescue team that had been searching for the initial victims were buried after a second landslide hit the area. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA • At least 11 people were killed, including a six-year-old boy, and scores more were missing after deadly landslides hit Indonesia's West Java province, the authorities said yesterday.

Torrential rain triggered the disaster on Saturday evening in the town of Sumedang, where a second landslide buried residents and a rescue team that had been searching for the initial victims, said Bandung rescue agency spokesman Seni Wulandari.

"We're still documenting how many are missing after the second landslide because there were many people who joined the original rescue effort," Ms Wulandari said. At least one survivor was seriously injured, while 11 people were confirmed dead, she added.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement that rescuers were among the 11 people who had died, and there were 18 people injured.

A bridge was destroyed and several roads were cut off, it said.

Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Indonesian archipelago, where seasonal downpours are frequent and relentless.

In September last year, at least 11 people were killed in landslides on Borneo island, and a few months earlier, landslides in Sulawesi killed dozens.

Indonesia's disaster agency has estimated that 125 million Indonesians - nearly half the country's population - live in areas at risk of landslides.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2021, with the headline 'Indonesia landslides kill at least 11, scores missing'. Subscribe