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Landslide Death Toll Rises To 15 As Search Operation Continues

The death toll from a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Sukabumi, West Java province has now risen to at least 15 people. The landlside hit 30 houses in the village shortly before sunset on Monday.

The search operation in Sirnaresmi village in Sukabumi district resumed on Wednesday after being halted a day earlier due to bad weather. Rescue workers found more bodies while digging through muddy soil that buried dozens of houses up to their roofs.

Disaster management agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement late on Tuesday that rescuers were searching for 20 villagers believed to have been buried in the landslides. Of 101 people affected, 63 are safe and three were injured.

“There have been four more landslides with less amount of soil. The unstable soil poses a danger to rescuers especially when it rains hard,” he added.

Sirnaresmi village is located in a hilly zone prone to landslides. According to data from Indonesia’s volcano and geological disaster mitigation agency, there are 33 sub-districts in Sukabumi situated in areas with medium to high risks of landslides.

This latest landslide means that Indonesia, which straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide, ended the year with 2,564 disasters of various sorts.

Source: Al Jazeera

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