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Deadly landslide hits Indonesia's main island

At least eight people killed, including four children, and 18 more missing on island of Java, according to officials.

Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 19:21
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A landslide triggered by torrential rain has killed at least eight people and left nine others missing on Indonesia's main island of Java, an official has said.

Nine houses were buried when mud gushed down from surrounding hills just after dawn on Monday in Cililin village in West Bandung district. 

Sigit Udjwalaprana of the local Disaster Mitigation Agency said rescuers dug up the bodies of a father and his 7-year-old son embracing each other, just hours before the search was halted due to darkness.

The dead included five children, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the national disaster agency said.

Hundreds of police, soldiers and residents were digging through the debris, using their bare hands, shovels and hoes in search of the others reported missing. 

Sigit said a lack of equipment hampered the 300 police, soldiers and residents who used their hands, shovels and hoes to search through the debris for the missing.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a vast chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.

The national disaster agency said 83 people have died in 53 earlier landslides this year in Indonesia.

 

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