An avalanche of mud and rocks buried dozens of people in Brebes, Central Java, on Thursday. At least five people are feared dead in Pasirpanjang village, Salem district, Brebes, where the landslide occurred, while 20 others were reportedly injured and 15 others remain missing.
A search and rescue team comprising Indonesian Military and National Police personnel and dozens of volunteers searched for the landslide victims until Thursday evening, amid rainfall.
The landslide buried dozens of houses, village roads and paddy fields located at the foot of the hill at noon on Thursday. Farmers working on the fields did not have a chance to save themselves when the landslide occurred.
Salem district head Sudarmoko said survivors of the disaster were evacuated to safer places for immediate treatment. “Some of them were taken to nearby Puskesmas (community health centers) while others, especially those with minor injuries, were taken to villager houses,” said Sudarmoko on Thursday.
The victims lost in the incident have been handed over to their families. “The hilly land in Pasirpanjang suddenly collapsed. The eastern part of the hill buried paddy fields while the western side of the area covered roads and resident settlements,” said Sudarmoko.
He said the main road connecting Salem district in Brebes regency and Majenang district in Cilacap regency was buried.
Sudarmoko said Salem district was located in the highlands and that, every rainy season, landslides often occurred in the area.