Theresia Sufa, Bogor, West Java – Two people have been found dead and four others are still missing after a landslide hit several houses in Empang subdistrict in Bogor city, West Java, on Tuesday night.
The landslide also affected the Bogor-Sukabumi train track, leaving a section of the track hanging in mid-air.
Bogor Disaster Mitigation Agency acting chief Theofilo Patrocinia Freitas said that the search and rescue effort was halted on Wednesday evening.
"It's getting dark and the remote area makes it difficult for us to deploy heavy machinery. We will continue [on Thursday] in the morning," he said as quoted by Antara on Wednesday.
Empang subdistrict chief told The Jakarta Post that the landslide happened at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday following heavy rain.
Based on the municipal administration data, a total of 5,603 families in Bogor live in landslide-prone areas, with 1,203 of them having to be moved immediately because of the risk.
Death toll rises
In a related development, the death toll from a landslide on a remote island in Natuna, Riau Islands, rose to 50 with four people still missing on the last day of the search, an official said Wednesday.
The landslide struck the island of Serasan on March 6, killing scores of residents in a village and burying houses under mud and debris.
"Until yesterday 50 people have been found dead, 49 of them have been identified while four others are still missing," local administration spokesperson Patli Muhamad told AFP.
At least eight of the dead were children, according to local search and rescue teams scouring the island, located in the Natuna region between Kalimantan and Peninsular Malaysia.
Nearly 3,000 residents remain displaced and had been evacuated to several shelters, according to local authorities.
"They are afraid to go home because there are total blackouts in some villages," Muhamad said.
Officials are planning to meet later on Wednesday to determine whether to extend the search and rescue operation.
During the rainy season, Indonesia is prone to landslides, which have been aggravated in some places by deforestation, with prolonged torrential rain causing flooding in some areas of the archipelago nation.
Experts say the country's weather-related disasters are likely being made worse by climate change. (dre)