Asia

Indonesia landslide: Jemblung death toll rises to 51

An Indonesian policeman and search dog at the scene of a deadly landslide Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Search efforts are continuing but hopes of finding survivors are fading

At least 51 people are now known to have died from a mudslide that engulfed a village in Indonesia.

More than 50 people are still missing from Friday's incident in Jemblung village on the island of Java.

Hundreds of rescuers have been digging through mud and wreckage, searching for survivors.

The operation was halted on Monday as more rain prompted fears of another landslide. It is due to resume again on Tuesday.

Officials say hopes of finding anyone alive are fading.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Rescuers were at one time using their bare hands to dig but heavy machinery has since arrived

"We hope and pray that we can rescue some of the missing but the chances are slim," a local search and rescue chief Agus Haryono told AFP.

The Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, visited the scene at the weekend and urged authorities to speed up rescue efforts.

The search has been hampered by heavy rain and difficulty accessing the disaster site.

At least 11 people were seriously injured and hundreds of others evacuated.

Flash floods and fatal landslides triggered by seasonal downpours are common in Indonesia.

Many of the inhabitants of the chain of 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.

Authorities say around half the population - about 125 million - is at risk from landslides.

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