Landslides leave 5 dead, 15 missing in western Indonesia

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2015 11:13 AM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Two rain-triggered landslides left a total of five villagers dead and 15 others missing on Indonesia's Sumatra Island, officials said Thursday.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a landslide Thursday in Bengkulu province buried 18 people. He said rescuers recovered three bodies and are searching under the thick rubble for the 15 others.

The landslide buried 20 houses under rubble up to 5 meters (16 feet) high, Sutopo said.

He said another landslide on Tuesday killed two people and injured nine others in Pematang Siantar town in North Sumatra province. Twenty-two houses were badly damaged and 35 others were slightly damaged, he said.

Seasonal rains and high tides cause frequent landslides and floods in Indonesia. Many of the country's 250 million people live in mountainous areas or fertile, flood-prone plains near rivers.