Nganjuk, Indonesia – Torrential rains triggered a landslide on Indonesia's main island of Java, killing at least four people and leaving 14 others missing, as emergency personnel digging with their bare hands and farm tools desperately sought to unearth more victims on Monday (Feb 15), officials said.
Hundreds of rescuers, including soldiers, police and volunteers, took part in the search for the missing in the village of Selopuro in East Java's Nganjuk district to search for possible victims, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati.
The mud that rolled from the surrounding hills late on Sunday struck at least eight houses, leaving 21 people buried under tons of mud. Fourteen other people were injured.
Three individuals were rescued and Indonesia's Search and Rescue Agency said it had found four bodies, but were still looking for 14 people reported missing.
"We cannot bring heavy equipment to the site of the landslides currently. However, we are currently trying to make our way," the East Java Search and Rescue Agency told AFP in a written statement.
Pasuruan, a town in the same province, was also flooded after a river overflowed due to the heavy rains, forcing more than 350 people to flee their homes, the agency added.
Severe flooding was also reported in many other provinces in the vast archipelago nation over the past few days.
Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains. – Agencies/vc/jt