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Indonesia: Landslide kills 10, dozens missing

March 6, 2023

More than 10 people have been killed in a landslide triggered by heavy torrential rain in the remote region of Natuna. More than 40 people are still unaccounted for.

Rescuers search for victims of an earthquake-triggered landslide in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia
More rescuers and volunteers were deployed Wednesday in devastated areas on Indonesia's main island of Java to search for the dead and missing from an earthquake that killed hundreds of peopleImage: Tatan Syuflana/AP Photo/picture alliance

More than 10 people died and more than 40 are still missing on one of Indonesia's remote islands in the Natuna region, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

According to the agency, heavy torrential rainfall triggered landslides that buried houses. The landslide pushed mud and debris onto houses in the Serasan district of the Natuna Region.

Search and rescue operations recovered 10 bodies. Damaged communication lines and high waves are making search and rescue efforts difficult.

There are fears the death toll might rise, agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said.

"Many people who need help have not been reached because we still have difficulty accessing the affected areas," Muhari noted.

Riau Islands Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Junainah said, "The weather is unpredictable. The wind is strong, and the waves are currently high."

Soldiers, police and volunteers have joined the search and rescue operations on the remote island.

To ease logistical challenges, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency is deploying a helicopter to speed up deliveries of basic necessities.

The remote island is only accessible by a five-hour fast boat ride from the mainland, another factor contributing to the slow pace of search and rescue efforts.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season. The landslides are caused by deforestation in some areas and prolonged torrential rains which has caused flooding in the southeast Asian nation.

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dmn/ar (AFPE,Reuters)