Rain triggers landslide in Indonesia; 10 dead, 9 missing

NGANJUK, Indonesia (AP) — Torrential rains triggered a landslide on Indonesia’s main island of Java that killed at least 10 people, with rescuers digging desperately with their bare hands and farm tools on Monday to locate nine missing people, including four children, officials said.

Dozens of soldiers, police and volunteers took part in the search in the village of Selopuro in East Java’s Nganjuk district, National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati said.

The mud that rolled down from surrounding hills late Sunday struck at least eight houses, injuring 14 people and leaving 21 people buried under tons of mud. Two were rescued on Sunday.

Rescuers on Monday found bodies buried under as much as 6 meters (10 feet) of mud and were searching for the nine people still missing, Nganjuk district chief Novi Rahman Hidayat said. Heavy equipment arrived later to help in the search.

Overnight rains caused rivers to burst their banks in other districts of the province on Monday, sending nearly 1 meter (about 3 feet) of muddy water into some residential areas and forcing hundreds of people to flee from their submerged homes, Jati said.

Severe flooding has been reported in many provinces in the vast archipelago nation over the past few days.

Two landslides hit a village in Indonesia’s West Java province last month, killing 40 people.

Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods each year in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.

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