Indonesian rescue team digs people buried in landslide

Lembata (AP), Indonesia — On Tuesday, in a remote area of ​​eastern Indonesia, looking for as many as 21 people, believed to have been buried in one of several disasters caused by stormy weather in the eastern part of Southeast Asia. A rescuer dug up the landslide wreckage. Timor.

The Sunday landslide on Lembata Island affected more than 12 villages as the November eruption caused torrential rains to solidify lava and roll down the slopes of Irilewotrok volcano. At least 16 people have been confirmed dead, according to the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Hundreds of police, soldiers and inhabitants dug debris looking for something filled with bare hands, shovels and hoes, whose efforts were hampered by heavy rains. Relatives cried when they saw the rescuer pull out the mud-solidified corpse and bury it on a bamboo stretcher.

Landslides and floods caused by heavy rains from tropical cyclones have killed at least 86 people on several islands in Indonesia and 27 people in East Timor. Thousands of homes were damaged and thousands of people were evacuated by the disaster. This can be exacerbated as storms moving south towards Australia are expected to continue affecting the region for several days.

Rescue operations were hampered by the weather and remote areas of the affected area. Roads and bridges were damaged in many places.

After a search and rescue team reaffirmed victim data and found that some of those reported dead by local authorities were still missing, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency reported 128 deaths on Tuesday. Reduced to 86 people.

In addition to the dead, Indonesian disaster officials said at least 98 people were missing.

President Joko Widodo held a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to speed up search and rescue operations and help distribute them, especially to people in isolated areas.

“If you can’t go by land, please go by sea and air quickly,” Widodo said, vowing to restore electricity, medical services and infrastructure in the affected areas.

Eight excavators and rescue workers with large amounts of food and medicine were to be deployed from the city of Makassar on Sulawesi, but it was hindered by the lack of maritime transport to remote islands, according to the Commissioner of the National Disaster Management Agency. Doni Monald said. He called on the private sector to support remote relief efforts.

Three helicopters began arriving in isolated areas of the island on Tuesday. Two helicopters carrying police and soldiers were expected to help distribute aid and supplies and transport injured people, the elderly and others in need, according to Monald.

Tropical Cyclone Seroha has been causing high waves, strong winds and heavy rains for several days, and the effects are expected to continue until Friday, said Dwicorita Karnawati, head of the Meteorological, Climatology and Geophysical Agency. I am.


Karmini reported from Jakarta, Indonesia.