Twenty-six people are missing in Indonesia’s East Java following a landslide, with rescue efforts being hampered by heavy rain and difficult conditions.
Indonesia’s National Disaster Management (BNPB) said on Monday that the death toll from Saturday’s “thunderous” landslide in a village in the Ponorogo area of East Java had risen to two, with 26 still missing.
Three hundred people have been displaced by the 1.5 kilometre stretch of mud and debris, with more than 20 houses inundated.
Heavy rain at the site of the landslide is disturbing efforts to search for the missing, with conditions also proving difficult.
“The location which is buried by landslide is vast and the material that buried the houses and victims is thick,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
“In several location, its thickness has reached 20 meters.”
Seven heavy duty machines have been sent to the area to help with rescue efforts.
“Apart from that, the factors of weather, access to the location, tools and limited communication, and also the danger of follow up landslide (are also proving to be obstacles),” Mr Nugroho added.
He said those who have been displaced have taken refuge at the house of the village head, as well as with friends and family.
“From 35 families or 128 people who are immediately affected, 100 of them managed to save themselves.
“Those who managed to escape did not have the chance to carry anything when they ran to save their lives.”
He said many of the survivors were traumatised and still missing family members.
Signs of the landslide had apparently appeared 20 days ago, with heavy rainfall causing “cracks” in the hills, BNPB said.
At around 7.30am local time on Saturday, Mr Nugroho said people heard a “thunderous sound”, with the landslide following around 30 minutes later.