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Indonesia landslide kills 11, dozens missing: officials



Indonesia landslide kills 11, dozens missing: officials

Indonesia remains vulnerable to landslides during the rainy season


Eleven people were killed and dozens went missing after torrential rains and landslides battered one of Indonesia’s outermost islands on Monday, the country’s disaster agency said.

Abdul Muhri, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said on Kompas TV that, according to the latest information from local authorities on the Riau Islands, “11 body bags were filled” and “50 people are estimated to be missing”.

Pictures provided by the agency showed mud and debris from the landslide flattened and completely covered homes near the edge of a cliff on Serasan island, between Borneo and mainland Malaysia.

Parts of torn off metal roofs were visible.

Juninah, a spokeswoman for the Riau Islands Disaster Mitigation Agency, said communication networks in the affected area had been cut, making it difficult to get the latest information.

“The weather is unpredictable. The wind is strong and the waves are currently high,” said the official, who is a name known to many Indonesians.

Abdul Muhri said it would also be difficult for rescue officials to reach the remote island.

“Normally it takes five hours by fast boat,” he said. “National Disaster Mitigation Agency to deploy a helicopter to speed up the logistics delivery process tomorrow”.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season, a situation worsened by deforestation in some places, and prolonged torrential rains that cause flooding in various areas of the archipelago nation.

Floods in Banjar district in the Indonesian part of Borneo have submerged more than 17,000 homes and thrown life out of gear for a month.

Neighboring Malaysia also received torrential rains, causing massive flooding. At least four people died last week and about 41,000 people were evacuated.

In 2020, Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and surrounding cities witnessed some of the deadliest floods in years following landslides triggered by torrential rains.

At least 67 people died in that disaster.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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