Death toll in Banjarnegara landslide rises to 83
The Jakarta Post
Members of the search-and-rescue (SAR) team with the help of thousands of volunteers have managed to recover 19 more bodies at the landslide site in Banjarnegara, Central Java, raising the confirmed death toll to 83 as of Thursday.
'Today the weather is clear ['¦] we hope we can remove the victims without any difficulties,' Banjarnegara Vice Regent Hadi Supeno told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
He said the SAR team members and the volunteers had been able to locate 15 victims on average every day, six days after the disaster hit a hamlet in Banjarnegara.
'The biggest obstacle to locating victims has been bad weather such that the search-and-rescue activities were halted several times due to heavy rainfall, which it was feared could cause other landslides,' Hadi said.
As was reported earlier the landslide hit Jemblung hamlet in Karangkobar district on Friday evening. Up to 108 people from 55 families were believed to have been buried in the incident.
The search goes on for the 25 remaining victims believed to have been caught in the disaster.
Hadi explained that over 1,000 people were forced to evacuate to safer areas. 'Their conditions are good ['¦] Existing logistical assistance is adequate to support them for the next 10 days,' he said.
'What is needed most at present is cement to build new houses at new locations for their relocation. Anyone intending to give assistance in the form of cement is welcome,' he said.
Meanwhile, Banjarnegara military district commander Lt. Col. Edi Rochmatullah said in his capacity as the coordinator of the evacuation team that many body parts had been found and team members were still trying to identify the remains. Identification is needed to facilitate their burial.
Of the recovered bodies, 20 were students at junior and senior high schools, 11 were children under 10 years old and two were elementary school teachers. (hhr)
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