Disaster officials in Indonesia report rescuers are searching for 42 missing people

Disaster officials in Indonesia report rescuers are searching for 42 missing people

On Tuesday, disaster officials in Indonesia reported that rescuers were searching for 42 still missing people after two landslides hit villages on an island in the remote Natuna regency.

Torrential rains triggered the landslides, and dozens of soldiers, police, and volunteers joined the search in the Genting and Pangkalan villages.

The island is located in the South China Sea’s edge and is surrounded by choppy waters and high waves.

According to reports, 42 people were trapped in 27 houses buried under tons of mud from surrounding hills.

Natuna’s disaster agency lowered the death toll to 10 from 11 on Tuesday morning, despite fears that it could rise.

Rescuers pulled eight injured people from the landslides. Four of them were in critical condition and have been rushed to a hospital in Pontianak city on Borneo island, about 180 miles away.

The landslides displaced more than 1,200 people, who were taken to evacuation centres and other shelters.

National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said that authorities were still collecting information about the full scale of casualties and damage in the affected areas.

He added that two helicopters and several vessels carrying rescuers and relief supplies, including tents, blankets, food, and medical teams, have departed Jakarta and nearby islands.


Muhari said that the distribution of relief supplies had been difficult because the injured and displaced are spread out and hard to reach.

The search and rescue operation has been hampered by rainy weather around the disaster site, downed communications lines, and a lack of heavy equipment.

Seasonal rains and high tides in recent days have caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across much of Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains close to rivers.

In November 2022, a landslide triggered by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake killed at least 335 people in West Java’s Cianjur city, about a third of them children.

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