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29 February 2024

Landslides kill 51 people following heavy rain in Indonesia

By Agencies


Hours of heavy rain triggered landslides that killed at least 51 people in western Indonesia on Wednesday, a rescue official said, while floods inundated thousands of houses elsewhere in the country.

The deaths occurred in several districts on the main island of Java after more than 12 hours of nonstop rain, local search and rescue chief Eko Prayitno said.

“At least 51 victims have been buried, but the numbers could still rise,” he said.

El-Shinta radio station said 61 people had been killed.

Prayitno said rescue workers were trying to get heavy-lifting equipment to the affected villages but were being hampered by roads blocked by landslides.

The disasters occurred on the third anniversary of the Asian tsunami, which killed some 160,000 people in Indonesia. Those deaths occurred on Sumatra Island, far from Java.

The landslides did not disrupt a tsunami warning drill held on Java to coincide with the anniversary.

Seasonal rains and high tides in recent days have caused widespread flooding across Indonesia, where millions of people live in mountainous regions and near fertile flood plains close to rivers.

On Wednesday, floods “some as deep as two metres” were reported in numerous locations elsewhere on Java, as well as on Sumatra island and Sulawesi. Thousands of homes were affected, witnesses and media reports said. (AP)