Landslides kill 18 on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, two missing

JAKARTA: Landslides on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island on the weekend killed at least 18 people with rescue efforts, including police sniffer dogs, still ongoing for two missing people, local authorities said on Monday.

The local government in South Sulawesi also reported that two people were in a critical condition in hospital. Landslides, triggered by high-intensity rains, affected two villages in the region of Tana Toraja, in South Sulawesi and destroyed four homes, according to the country’s disaster mitigation data on Sunday.

Photos of affected villages provided by the agency showed rescuers trawling through the rubble for survivors, with homes flattened and reduced to planks of wood and concrete.

Emergency response efforts have been complicated by poor weather conditions and damage to roads into the affected areas, making it difficult for vehicles, including ambulances to evacuate victims, the agency previously said.

Located in the centre of Sulawesi island, the mountainous region of Tana Toraja is about 300 km (186 miles) from the provincial capital, Makassar. Floods and landslides killed at least 26 people on Indonesia’s Sumatra island last month, with torrential rains destroying hundreds of homes, and displacing thousands. Indonesia’s rainy season began in January with the meteorological agency forecasting a first-quarter peak, particularly on the islands of Java and Sumatra.

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