Indonesia’s appalling year of disasters ended in further misery with a landslide in western Java that claimed 15 lives with a further 25 missing, officials said on Tuesday.
Rescuers were searching for survivors after heavy rain triggered the landslide shortly before sunset on Monday evening.
Search and rescue teams had found 15 people dead and were looking for at least two dozen more, officials said. Further rain, power cuts and bad roads had hindered the rescue effort in Sukabumi regency, a spokesman said.
Disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said relief teams had been constrained by narrow roads and ambulances getting stuck in traffic jams, according to AFP.
Lombok, Sulawesi, Sunda Strait
Indonesia had more than its usual share of disasters in 2018, with at least four earthquakes of or over 6.4 magnitude hitting Lombok island in July and August. The quakes killed more than 600 and left tens of thousands homeless.
In late September, a 7.5 magnitude quake caused a tsunami four to seven meters high that swamped the city of Palu in central Sulawesi. The combined impacts claimed at least 2,256 lives, which made it the worst quake to hit the country since 2006.
Then on December 22, areas adjacent to the Sunda Strait between Java’s Banten province and eastern Sumatra were hit by a tsunami following an eruption and partial collapse of Anak Krakatau, a volcano under the sea. At least 437 people were killed and over 14,000 injured.
The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said more than 40,000 people had been displaced by the Sunda Strait disaster.