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11 dead, 19 missing in Indonesia landslide

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At least 11 people are dead and 19 more are missing after heavy rains caused a landslide near an illegal gold mine on Indonesia’s central island of Sulawesi, an official said Monday.

Unlicensed mines are common across the mineral-rich Southeast Asian archipelago, where abandoned sites attract locals who hunt for leftover gold ore without proper safety equipment.

The landslide hit a remote village in the Bone Bolango district of Gorontalo province late Saturday after spells of torrential rain, killing at least 11 and leaving more than a dozen still unaccounted for.

“Eight people who have died have been evacuated. Five people survived but were injured, from light to heavy injuries”, said local search and rescue agency head Heriyanto, who goes by one name, adding that three others who died had yet to be evacuated and 19 people were still missing.

Several bridges to the area collapsed and rescuers were having to travel to the site of the disaster by foot due to the difficult terrain, Heriyanto added.

At least 180 people had been deployed as part of the rescue operation, including police officers and soldiers, he said.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season between November and April, but July is usually dry season and heavy rains are rare.

In May, at least 15 people died after landslides and flooding in South Sulawesi province swept away dozens of houses and damaged roads.

A landslide in the same province the month before killed 20 people.

At least 180 people had been deployed as part of the rescue operation, including police officers and soldiers, he said.

Indonesia is prone to landslides during the rainy season between November and April, but July is usually dry season and heavy rains are rare.

In May, at least 15 people died after landslides and flooding in South Sulawesi province swept away dozens of houses and damaged roads.

A landslide in the same province the month before killed 20 people.

Agence France-Presse

Source; Gulf today

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