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Landslides kill at least 11 in Indonesia

Rescuers say 10-month-old Catholic twins were among the victims in North Kalimantan province

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Landslides kill at least 11 in Indonesia

A rescuer saves a child after landslides struck in four separate locations in North Kalimantan province on Sept. 27 after hours of heavy rain and strong winds. (Photo: AFP)

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At least 11 people, including 10-month-old Catholic twins, were killed in landslides that hit Indonesia’s North Kalimantan province on Sept. 28, disaster management officials said.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Raditya Jati said the victims were killed in several villages in North Tarakan and Central Tarakan subdistricts.

The landslides, triggered by heavy downpours, also left three people injured and damaged 19 houses, he said.

“The BNBP was coordinating relief and rescue efforts with local and provincial disaster mitigation agencies,” Jati said.

This included the evacuation of an undisclosed number of villagers and the provision of relief supplies, he said.

Prior to the disaster, the BNPB had warned of potential flooding and landslides in several parts of the country, including North Kalimantan.

Aryo Saptoaji, an emergency response team member with Caritas Indonesia, said the Church’s social response arm was in contact with its branch in Tanjung Selor Diocese, one of the areas hit.

“There is no Caritas emergency response plan yet. The impacts of the landslides can still be managed by local authorities but the local team was offering help,” he told UCA News.

According to Poor Daughters of St. Joseph nun Sister Juliva Motulo from the diocese’s Caritas team, four Catholics were among the dead and another two were among the injured.

“Two of the dead were 10-month old twins,” she told UCA News.

The nun said her team and a local parish had sent volunteers to disaster sites to report on the situation and offer immediate help.

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