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19 dead, 2 missing after Indonesia landslide

Indonesia faces higher landslide risks in the rainy season due to deforestation, leading to flooding in some areas
This handout photo released on April 14 by the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) shows rescuers carrying a body bag at a landslide site in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi.

This handout photo released on April 14 by the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) shows rescuers carrying a body bag at a landslide site in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. (Photo: AFP)

Published: April 15, 2024 05:22 AM GMT
Updated: May 15, 2024 11:45 AM GMT

At least 19 people have been found dead and two more are missing after a landslide in central Indonesia, local authorities said on April 14.

The dead and two survivors were evacuated from two landslide-hit villages in Tana Toraja regency, South Sulawesi province on April 13 evening, said local disaster agency head Sulaiman Malia.

"There have been 19 fatalities, with four deaths in South Makale and 15 others in Makale villages," Malia told AFP on April 14.

"Currently, we are still searching for other victims," he said, adding that there are still two individuals reported missing, presumably buried under the landslide debris.

Tana Toraja and its surrounding areas have been "continuously hit by heavy rainfall, especially over the past week, with hardly any stop," Malia added.

The heavy rainfall eroded the soil of residential areas located on mountain slopes, leading to landslides that buried residents' homes, he said.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season and the problem has been aggravated in some places by deforestation, with prolonged torrential rain causing flooding in some areas of the archipelago nation.

Last month flash floods and landslides on Sumatra island killed at least 30 people with scores still missing.

A landslide and flooding swept away dozens of houses and destroyed a hotel near Lake Toba on Sumatra in December, killing at least two people.

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