Indonesia landslides kill 11, injure 18 in West Java

by Reuters
Sunday, 10 January 2021 01:50 GMT

Indonesian rescuers attempt the search for victims buried by landslides in Sumedang, West Java Province, Indonesia, January 10, 2021 in this photo taken by Antara Foto/Novrian Arbi via REUTERS

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The president warned in October that heavy rains from the La Nina weather system could trigger flooding and landslides

SINGAPORE, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Landslides caused by heavy rain in western Indonesia killed 11 and injured 18, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said on Sunday.

The landslides at Cihanjuang Village in West Java, about 150 km (95 miles) southeast of the capital Jakarta took place at 4 p.m. (0900 GMT) and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said in a statement.

"The first landslide was triggered by high rainfall and unstable soil conditions. The subsequent landslide occurred while officers were still evacuating victims around the first landslide area," Raditya added.

The death toll was preliminary as of Sunday morning, he said, adding that potential rain and thunderstorms through the day may hamper rescue efforts.

President Joko Widodo in October warned Indonesia that heavy rains from the La Nina weather system could trigger flooding and landslides, and affect the nation's agricultural output.

A La Nina pattern is characterized by unusually cold temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Indonesia frequently suffers floods and landslides, particularly during the rainy season from November to March, a situation often worsened by the cutting down of forests.

(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by William Mallard)

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