More rescuers sent to search for landslide victims

More rescuers and heavy machinery will be sent to Indonesia’s disaster-hit Serasan Island to search for dozens still missing after a deadly landslide, a disaster official said.

The landslide struck on Monday in the remote Natuna region between Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.

Poor weather and downed communication lines have complicated rescue efforts on the island, which is home to about 8,000 people.

Pictures provided by Natuna’s communication and information agency showed houses reduced to rubble, with fallen trees and torn roofs visible.

Body bags were lined up on top of a blue tarpaulin as officials gathered to pray for the victims.

Rescuers have managed to find 11 bodies so far, but villagers put the death toll at 15, according to Abdul Muhari, spokesperson for the national disaster mitigation agency.

Another 47 people are still missing, while at least 1,200 people have had to seek shelter because of the disaster, he added.

“There are 82 search and rescue personnel on Serasan Island. Fifteen more officers from Jakarta will join the effort tomorrow,” Muhari said on Tuesday evening.

Heavy-duty vehicles, along with two helicopters, will also help the search and aid distribution efforts. — AFP

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Serasan Island , landslide , rescue


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