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At least 7 dead in Indonesia landslide

December 13, 2014

More than 100 homes have been swept away in a landslide after torrential rains inundated the Indonesian village of Jemblung. Rescuers were desperately trying to reach the 108 people still missing.

Indonesians walking along the path of a landslide
Image: Reuters/Antara Foto/A. Efizudi

Seven people have been killed and more than 100 are missing after a landslide triggered by torrential rains buried houses on Indonesia's main island of Java, officials said Saturday.

More than 100 houses were carried away in the landslide late Friday evening, which struck the village of Jemblung in the district of Banjarnegara in Central Java.

Thirty-eight injured villagers were taken to a local hospital, and four remain in critical condition. More than 375 people have been evacuated from the site of the disaster and taken to temporary shelters.

"Jemblung village was the most affected," said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation agency. "Rescuers are still trying to find more victims. The challenge is that the evacuation route is also damaged by the landslide."

Hundreds of rescuers were digging through debris in an attempt to locate the 107 people still missing after the landslide.

Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands, is especially prone to landslides during the country's rainy season which reaches its peak between December and February. Millions of people live in mountainous areas near flood plains that are particularly vulnerable.

In October, a landslide in Sri Lanka, to the west of Indonesia, killed more than 100 people and destroyed more than 150 homes.

bw/cmk (AP, Reuters)