Hundreds of people were evacuated and many more are missing in a mudslide that swept over a rural village.
A remote village in Indonesia has been destroyed in a landslide which has left 17 people confirmed dead and scores more missing. Rescuers searched through mud with their bare hands to try and find the lost villagers until light faded. Jemblung village, which had 46 houses, was destroyed when a flood of orange coloured mud and water cascaded down a wooded mountainside. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from around the village in the Banjarnegara regency of central Java, about 280 miles (450 km) from the capital, Jakarta. Large swathes of forest land, power lines and houses were buried in the disaster which struck on Friday night. “There was a roaring sound like thunder,” Imam, who lives in a neighbouring village, told television crews. “Then I saw trees were flying and then the landslides. People here also panicked and fled.” A second resident said there had been no warnings of the likelihood of a landslide. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, said 17 people had been killed, 15 rescued, 91 were missing and 423 people from the surrounding areas had been taken to temporary shelters. Eleven of the 15 rescued were receiving hospital treatment, he said. “Jemblung village was the most affected,” Mr Nugroho said. “The challenge is that the evacuation route is also damaged by the landslide.” A government agency official added that the rescue effort had been suspended as light faded and would resume on Sunday. Local reports said five of the dead were found in one car. Rescuers were pictured using bamboo stretchers to carry bodies away. A rescue team of about 400 people, which included police, military and local volunteers, used their bare hands and makeshift tools to search for people and clear the area. A lack of a telephone signal and heavy-lifting equipment had hampered the rescue effort along with crowds of onlookers, Mr Nugroho added. Jemblung had a history of similar disasters, he added. Mudslides are common in Indonesia during the monsoon season, which usually runs from October until April.