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Indonesia landslide death toll rises to 30

AFP . Jakarta
09 Mar 2023 15:38:35 | Update: 09 Mar 2023 15:39:31
Indonesia landslide death toll rises to 30
This handout picture taken on March 8, 2023 and released on March 9, 2023 by ministry of communication and information shows rescue team evacuate the body of a victim that was found buried by a landslide at Pangkalan village, in Natuna Islands — AFP Photo

The death toll from a landslide on a remote Indonesian island rose to 30 after rescuers found more bodies on Thursday, an official said.

The landslide struck Monday on Serasan Island, located in the Natuna region between Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.

"As of 11:50am (0450 GMT) today, nine bodies have been found," local government spokesperson Patli Muhamad told AFP.

The bodies were found buried under the rubble and landslide debris at Pangkalan village, Muhamad said, adding that 24 people are still missing.

Muhamad said the poor weather that had previously hampered search and rescue efforts had improved and communication lines were also being gradually restored.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season, aggravated in some places by deforestation, and prolonged torrential rain has caused flooding in different areas of the archipelago nation.

Experts say the country's weather-related disasters are likely being made worse by climate change.

The head of Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Suharyanto, who goes by one name, said the Natuna district government had agreed to relocate dozens of families away from the affected area to mitigate the risks from future disasters.

Meanwhile, floods further south in Banjar district, in the Indonesian part of Borneo, have inundated more than 17,000 houses and disrupted lives for a month.

Neighbouring Malaysia has also been hit with torrential rains and floods. Nearly 41,000 people were evacuated last week in several states of the country.