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Jakarta Post

13 killed as landslides bury Central Java villages

  • Agus Maryono

    The Jakarta Post

Banyumas   /   Sun, June 19, 2016   /  06:36 pm
13 killed as landslides bury Central Java villages Buried – Police officers search for victims of a landslide that hit Caok village, Purworejo, Central Java, on Sunday. Following heavy rain on Saturday, flooding and landslides struck a number of parts of the province. (Tempo/Pius Erlangga)

At least 13 people have been killed in landslides caused by heavy rain in the Central Java regencies of Banjarnegara and Kebumen.

The torrential rain, which fell all day Saturday, also caused flooding in Tambak and Sumpiuh districts in Banyumas regency, washing away two houses but causing no reported fatalities.

“The flood water has receded now, yet our worries remain. It seems the rain will continue to fall; there are dark clouds across the sky,” Sumpiuh resident Saridin, 43, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

On Saturday evening, a landslide buried three houses in Sampang village, Sempor district, Kebumen. Six people are feared buried in the mud; search operations remain ongoing.

Moel Wahyono, commander of the Cilacap-chapter National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), which handles natural disasters in southern Central Java, said a landslide had buried a house in Gumelem village, Susukan district, resulting in seven deaths.

“We are focused on handling landslides and flooding in Banjarnegara, Banyumas and Kebumen. We are striving to evacuate victims in Banjarnegara, but the situation on the ground complicates the evacuation,” said Wahyono.

The head of the Banjarnegara Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD)’s rapid response team, Andri Sulistyo, said the seven landslide victims killed in Gumelem were still working to clear a road covered by mud from a previous landslide in the village when the incident took place.   

“They were removing the mud and debris from the road when another landslide suddenly hit,” said Andri.

The flooding in Sumpiuh district in Banyumas regency engendered major delays to the rail link between Tambak and Sumpiuh, submerging and damaging the tracks.

“By around 9 p.m. local time, we had managed to repair all rail tracks and bridges, returning them to normal operation,” said Surono, a spokesperson for state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia’s Operation Region V Purwokerto. (ebf)

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