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Bodies of 3-year-old girl, mother recovered after Indonesian landslides

By: Associated Press April 17,2024 - 07:30 AM

indonesia landslide

In this photo released by the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS), rescuers search for survivors at a village hit by a landslide in Tana Toraja district of South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, Monday, April 15, 2024. A search and rescue team found multiple people killed by landslides on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island and are still looking for a few missing, officials said Monday. (National Search and Rescue Agency via AP)

TANA TORAJA, Indonesia (AP) — Rescuers have retrieved the bodies of a 3-year-old girl and her mother, marking the conclusion of the search for the last missing victims after landslides claimed 20 lives on Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island.

The steep, muddy terrain blocked heavy equipment from coming in, forcing rescuers to dig through the mud with handheld tools. At least 20 search and rescue officers took part in the search, as well as dozens of residents.

Mud loosened by torrential rain poured from surrounding hills onto four houses Saturday at South Makale village in the Tana Toraja district of South Sulawesi province, said local police chief Gunardi Mundu. He said a family gathering was being held in one of the houses when the landslide hit.

The last two victims were found late Tuesday afternoon as heavy rains continued. Rescuers carried them away, wrapped in orange body bags, across a dark and rainy field with the help of torches.

Dozens of soldiers, police and volunteers joined the search in the remote hillside villages of Makale and South Makale, Mundu said. Rescuers early Sunday managed to pull out two injured people, including an 8-year-old girl, and rushed them to a hospital.

Tana Toraja has many popular tourist attractions, including traditional houses and wooden statues of bodies buried in caves, known as tau-tau.

Seasonal downpours cause frequent landslides and floods in Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or fertile flood plains.


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TAGS: Indonesia, landslides

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