Landslides hit Indonesia's Sulawesi island, claiming 15 lives

World Monday 15/April/2024 08:55 AM
Landslides hit Indonesia's Sulawesi island, claiming 15 lives

Jakarta: At least 15 people are killed after landslides hit central Indonesia, Al Jazeera reported, citing the local authorities.

Two people are said to be missing, whereas at least 17 victims were evacuated from the landslides that hit Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi province, on Saturday evening, local disaster agency head Sulaiman Maila said on Sunday.

According to a statement released by the nation's disaster mitigation agency's spokesperson, Abdul Muhari, the landslides that were caused by the intense rains damaged four homes and two communities in the area.

Just before midnight on Saturday, mud from neighbouring hills fell upon four houses in Tana Toraja, burying parts of the village, according to local police head Gunardi Mundu. He claimed that when the landslides took place, a family get-together was taking place in one of the homes, reported Al Jazeera.

Indonesia's rainy season began in January, with the meteorological agency forecasting a peak within the first quarter of 2024.

Poor weather conditions and damage to roads in the affected areas complicated emergency response efforts, making it difficult for vehicles to evacuate victims, the disaster mitigation agency's spokesperson said.

According to Indonesia's Tempo newspaper, heavy equipment was desperately needed by the rescuers to help clear roads so that ambulances could take the casualties to safety.

The hilly area of Tana Toraja, situated in the heart of Sulawesi island, is roughly 300 kilometres (186 miles) away from Makassar, the provincial seat.

Last month, floods and landslides killed at least 26 people on Indonesia's Sumatra island, with torrential rains destroying hundreds of homes, and displacing thousands.