Death toll in Indonesia’s East Java landslide rises to 18

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JAKARTA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — The death toll from landslide in Indonesia’s East Java province rose to 18 after five more bodies were found on Thursday, an official said.

“Today we found five victims, one in sector B and four in sector A. From the results of the autopsy, three were males and two females, including adults and children,” the East Java Search and Rescue (SAR) Agency’s Head Hari Adi Purnomo said as quoted by Antara news agency on Thursday.

Earlier, 21 people were reportedly missing and two others survived the catastrophe, Purnomo said, adding that after five more dead victims were found, the rescuers were still searching for one more person who is likely buried by the landslide. On Wednesday, the SAR team found 13 dead victims.

On the SAR operation, hundreds of rescuers, excavator operators, district officials and bloodhounds were involved, Purnomo said.

“Due to the bad weather, the search didn’t continue as the team didn’t want to take any risk. In addition, land fractures were also reported at the location, making the team stop the search temporarily,” he said.

Meanwhile, Farid Kurniadi, a member of the SAR team in East Java capital of Surabaya, said the five dead victims are now handled by the local disaster victim identification (DVI) team for identification.

Authorities believed the landslide that occurred on Sunday evening in Ngetos village in Nganjuk district was triggered by moderate to high-intensity rainfalls.

Over 180 villagers were impacted by the disaster. About 100 people were forced to leave their houses and stay in temporary shelters in the village. Enditem

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