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Search continues after Indonesian landslide

December 14, 2014

Rescuers have pulled more bodies from debris left after a mudslide hit a village in central Indonesia. Dozens are still missing and hundreds have been displaced by the disaster.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (in white) walks as he visits an area in the village of Jemblung after a landslide hit the village in Banjarnegara December 14, 2014 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Idhad Zakaria/Antara Foto
Image: Reuters/Antara Foto/I. Zakaria

Rescue workers in Indonesia on Sunday continued their search for more than 70 people left missing after a mudslide two days previously buried 105 houses in the village of Jemblung in central Java.

"The rescue team has found 32 bodies ... and is still searching for 76 people buried in the landslide," National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a text message.

Sutopo said 25 of the victims had been identified, adding that more than 2,000 people were taking part in the search. Some 600 people had been forced from their homes and were being accommodated in temporary shelters at several locations, he said.

President's visit

The ground around the disaster site is reportedly still unstable, forcing rescuers to be careful while digging for fear of causing more mudslides. Sutopo said that rescue teams had also been hampered by the fact that many roads and bridges were destroyed.

President Joko Widodo (seen above in white) visited the area on Sunday, and promised to relocate the people made homeless by the disaster. He also warned Indonesians to be "vigilant," saying that there were many other areas in the country where landslides were a likely event.

Friday's mudslide in the Barnjarnegara district, some 460 kilometers (285 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta, was triggered by three days of torrential rains.

Landslides caused by heavy rains and floods are common in Indonesia during the rainy season, which runs from November to March. The national disaster agency estimates that about half of the countriy's 250 million population lives in areas that are prone to landslides.

tj/es (AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP)