Five dead, 15 missing in Indonesia landslide

09:27 | 23/02/2018
JAKARTA: At least five people have been killed and 15 are still missing after a landslide cascaded down the terraced slopes of a rice field on the Indonesian island of Java on Thursday (Feb 22), officials said.
five dead 15 missing in indonesia landslide
Eleven people are missing and 14 have been injured following a landslide Thursday (Feb 22) that cascaded down the terraced slopes of a rice field on the Indonesian island of Java, officials said. (Photo: Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana/Facebook)

The missing people, farmers tending their crops in Brebes district, Central Java, were buried under an avalanche of mud and rock around 8.00am.

"The landslide buried the farmers working in their rice fields," disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

The incident followed several days of heavy rain in the mountainous area, which is about seven hours east of the capital Jakarta.

Another 14 farmers were injured and have been taken to a nearby medical centre for treatment.

Rescuers including the army, police and local volunteers are digging through the debris to search for survivors, the disaster mitigation agency said.

Residents have been forbidden from entering the area due to fears of further landslides.

"The soil is unstable, if it's raining, it could be dangerous," Apriyanto Sudarmoko, local sub-district head, told national TV station.

"We also ask residents living near the site to vacate their homes until it's safe."

Landslides are common in Indonesia, especially during wet season between October and April, when rain lashes the country.

Eight miners were killed on the slopes of Mount Merapi, an active volcano near the city of Jogjakarta, in December last year.

A month earlier at least 11 people died in heavy flooding and landslides in Pacitan, East Java.

AFP

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