Landslides kill 11, injure 18 in Indonesia’s West Java
Rescuers among victims as landslides triggered by heavy rains bury homes in Cihanjuang village.
Two landslides triggered by heavy rains have killed at least 11 people and injured 18 others in western Indonesia, according to officials.
The landslides at Cihanjuang village in West Java, about 150km (95 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta, took place at 4pm (09:00 GMT) and 7:30pm (12:30 GMT) on Saturday, a spokesman for the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said in a statement on Sunday.
“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,” Raditya Jati said.
Rescuers were among the victims, he said.
The death toll was preliminary as of Sunday morning, Jati said, adding that potential rain and thunderstorms through the day may hamper rescue efforts.
Seasonal rains and high tide in recent days have caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across much of Indonesia, a chain of more than 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains close to rivers.
Authorities struggled to bring in heavy equipment to clear the debris in West Java as landslides had blocked roads and a bridge.
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 experiences floods and landslides, particularly during the rainy season from November to March, a situation often worsened by the cutting down of forests.