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Deadly landslide destroys village in Indonesia

Dida Nuswatara, AFP | A rescue team searches for survivors following a deadly landslide at Jemblung village

A landslide destroyed a village in Indonesia, killing at least 11 people, an official said on Saturday, as rescuers used their bare hands to search through the rain and mud for 108 missing people

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Hundreds have been evacuated from around Jemblung in Banjarnegara, central Java, about 450 km (280 miles) from the capital, Jakarta, where media pictures showed a flood of mud and water cascading down a wooded mountainside. The landslide hit on Friday night.

Landslides and mudslides are common in Indonesia during the monsoon season, which usually runs from October until April.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said 11 people had been killed and 379 people from the surrounding areas had been taken to temporary shelters.

“Jemblung village was the most affected,” he said in a statement. “Rescuers are still trying to find more victims. The challenge is that the evacuation route is also damaged by the landslide.”

The rescue team, which included police, military and local volunteers, were using their bare hands to search for people and clear the area but further rain was making the search difficult.

“There was a roaring sound like thunder,” Imam, who lives in a neighbouring village, told television. “Then I saw trees were flying and then the landslides.

“People here also panicked and fled,” he added.

Delaying rescue efforts was a lack of heavy equipment, Nugroho added, while media showed power lines and houses buried under the mud.

(REUTERS)

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