Indonesia Landslides Kill At Least 11, Scores Missing

Rescuers carry the body of a victim after two landslides killed at least 11 people, including a six-year-old boy, with scores more missing in Sumedang, West Java province on January 10, 2021. Timur Matahari / AFP

 

At least 11 people were killed, including a six-year-old boy, and scores more were missing after deadly landslides hit Indonesia’s West Java province, authorities said Sunday.

Torrential rains triggered the disaster on Saturday evening in the town of Sumedang, where a second landslide buried residents and a rescue team that had been searching for the initial victims, said Bandung rescue agency spokeswoman Seni Wulandari.

“We’re still documenting how many are missing after the second landslide because there were many people who joined the original rescue effort,” she said.

At least one survivor was seriously injured, while 11 people were confirmed dead, Wulandari said.

Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Indonesian archipelago, where seasonal downpours are frequent and relentless.

In September last year, at least 11 people were killed in landslides on Borneo island while a few months earlier, landslides in Sulawesi killed dozens.

Indonesia’s disaster agency has estimated that 125 million Indonesians — nearly half the country’s population — live in areas at risk of landslides.

Seventh Body Found In Norway Mudslide, Three Still Missing

Rescue workers with a dog search the area on January 2, 2021 following the landslide that hit a residential area in Ask in Gjerdrum during Christmas. Tor Erik Schroeder / NTB / AFP

 

 

Rescue workers have uncovered a seventh body from a landslide that buried homes in a village near Norway’s capital, police said Sunday, with a two-year-old girl and her father among the dead.

The tragedy occurred early on Wednesday when houses were destroyed and shifted hundreds of metres under a torrent of mud in the village of Ask, 25 kilometres (15 miles) northeast of Oslo.

Police spokesman Bjorn Christian Willersrud told journalists they hoped to find more survivors in the landslide zone. “It is still a rescue operation until we decide otherwise,” he said.

Earlier Sunday, the head of the rescue operation, Goran Syversen, told reporters: “We are working hard in the depression created by the landslide.

“We have five teams working at the same time. They are doing very difficult work which is not without risk. Nevertheless, we are making good progress.”

Police said the latest body was found near where two others had been recovered, but gave no further details. The teams, backed up by sniffer dogs, helicopters and drones, have now found three bodies on Sunday, one on Saturday and three on Friday.

Local residents left candles near the site of the tragedy.

Five of the recovered victims have been identified, including a woman in her fifties and her 29-year-old son, and a 40-year-old man and his two-year-old daughter.

The first victim to be recovered, on January 1, was a 31-year-old man.

Earlier police published the names of all 10 people, including the two-year-old and a 13-year-old, who went missing on Wednesday.

Ten people were also injured in the landslide, including one seriously who was transferred to Oslo for treatment.

About 1,000 people of the town’s population of 5,000 have been evacuated, because of fears for the safety of their homes as the land continues to move.

“It is a completely surreal and terrible situation,” one of the evacuees, Olav Gjerdingen, told AFP.

Royal visit

The rescuers received a visit Sunday from King Harald, his wife Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon, who lit candles for the victims in a local church.

“I’m having trouble finding something to say, because it’s absolutely horrible,” the king said after the visit.

“This terrible event impacts us all. I sympathise with you who are beginning the new year with sadness and uncertainty,” he said in a televised statement.

The authorities have banned all aircraft from the disaster area until 3 pm Monday as they conduct aerial searches.

The teams, who are also seeking to rescue family pets, were digging channels in the ground to evacuate casualties.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) said the disaster was a “quick clay slide” of approximately 300 by 800 metres (yards).

Quick clay is a sort of clay found in Norway and Sweden that can collapse and turn to fluid when overstressed.

On the recommendations of the NVE, the authorities decided to narrow the evacuation, allowing some local people to return to their homes.

AFP

Over 10 Families Trapped In Imo Landslide 

 

 

More than 10 families living on Trinity street in Akwakuma community in Owerri North local government area of Imo state are trapped in their homes following an erosion that prevented the individuals from running to safety. 

Residents say the situation took a new dimension after a heavy downpour which lasted all through the night on Sunday till the early hours of Monday.

Some residents who spoke to Channels Television urged the government to come to their aid as a matter of urgency, so they can have good access roads to go to work, buy foodstuff, and do other daily activities.

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Over 40 Persons Killed In Monsoon-Triggered India Landslide

A collage showing the devastation stirred by the Monsoon in India.

 

At least 43 bodies have been recovered after a massive landslide triggered by monsoon rains swept away dozens of tea estate workers in southwestern India, police said Sunday.

The landslide in Idukki district, around 250 kilometres (155 miles) from Kerala state’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, occurred Friday but the ongoing search and rescue efforts have been hampered by torrential downpours.

The toll rose to 43 on Sunday afternoon, Idukki district’s police chief, R. Karuppasamy, told AFP.

Twenty-six of the bodies were recovered on Friday night, a police official said earlier Sunday.

Local media reported that some 78 people were believed to live in the area, with many still missing.

Kerala has been hit by deadly floods during the annual monsoon.

At least 18 people died in a passenger jet crash in Kerala on Friday when an Air India Express jet overshot the runway while trying to land in a storm and plunged down a bank.

The monsoon across South Asia is critical to replenishing rivers and groundwater, but also causes widespread death and destruction.

More than 300 people have died in floods and landslides in eastern and northeastern India, Bangladesh and Nepal in recent weeks.

Workers load goods on a cargo boat in the Buriganga river as rain clouds loom over Dhaka on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Munir Uz zaman / AFP)
People wade along a flooded street after a monsoon rainfall in Lahore on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP)
Commuters make their way along a flooded street after a monsoon rainfall in Lahore on August 9, 2020. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP)
Rescue workers search for missing people at a landslide site caused by heavy rains in Pettimudy, in Kerala state, on August 8, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP)
Commuters make their way along a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi on August 7, 2020. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP)

Death Toll In Kenya Landslides Rises To 29

 

At least 29 people were killed in Kenya when their homes were swept away in landslides during ferocious overnight rainstorms, the government said Saturday.

Their homes were hit in the early hours of Saturday amid torrential rains in the Pokot region, 350 kilometres (220 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi.

“We are saddened to confirm that 12 people from Tapach and Parua in Pokot South, and 17 from Tamkal in Pokot Central lost their lives,” Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said in a statement.

“Our profound sympathies go to the families and friends of those who have been affected.”

Army and police helicopters have been sent, Matiang’i said, with rescue efforts delayed because roads have been cut and bridges closed after streams turned into raging torrents.

“Massive landslides reported in various areas of West Pokot County following heavy downpour,” Kenya Red Cross said in a message, adding its emergency response teams had deployed to help.

Devastating Floods

West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okello said that two children were pulled out alive from the smashed wreckage of their mud-covered homes.

“They have been rushed to hospital,” he said.

Rescue efforts to dig bodies out of the dirt continued.

“The challenge we are facing is the heavy rains, but we are trying our best,” he added.

It is not only Kenya that is affected. The landslides come amid weeks of destructive rains and flooding across East Africa.

Violent downpours have displaced tens of thousands in Somalia, submerged whole towns in South Sudan and killed dozens in flash floods and landslides in Ethiopia and Tanzania too.

Close to a million people in South Sudan alone are affected with growing fears of disease and starvation.

Floods hit East Africa regularly, but scientists say that it has been exacerbated by a powerful climate phenomenon in the Indian Ocean stronger than any seen in years.

The extreme weather is blamed on the Indian Ocean Dipole — a climate system defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between western and eastern areas of the ocean.

The ocean off East Africa is currently far warmer than usual, resulting in higher evaporation resulting in rain over the continent.

At Least 12 Killed In Kenya Landslide

 

At least 12 people were killed in Kenya when their homes were swept away in a landslide during ferocious rainstorms, local government officials said Saturday.

Their homes were hit overnight Friday amid torrential rains in Kenya’s West Pokot region, 350 kilometres (220 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi.

“Twelve bodies have been recovered, and a search for more is going on,” West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okello told journalists on Saturday.

“The challenge we are facing is the heavy rains, but we are trying our best.”

Okello said that two children were pulled out alive from the smashed wreckage of their mud-covered homes.

“They have been rushed to hospital,” he said.

Rescue efforts have been delayed because roads have been cut and bridges closed after streams turned into raging torrents.

“Massive landslides reported in various areas of West Pokot County following heavy downpour,” Kenya Red Cross said in a message, adding that its emergency response teams had deployed to help.

But police officers on the ground said they feared the toll could rise. Rescue efforts to dig bodies out of the dirt continued.

It is not only Kenya that is affected. The landslides come amid weeks of destructive rains and flooding across East Africa.

Violent downpours have displaced tens of thousands in Somalia, submerged whole towns in South Sudan and killed dozens in flash floods and landslides in Ethiopia and Tanzania too.

Close to a million people in South Sudan alone are affected with growing fears of disease and starvation.

Floods hit East Africa regularly, but scientists say that it has been exacerbated by a powerful climate phenomenon in the Indian Ocean stronger than any seen in years.

The extreme weather is blamed on the Indian Ocean Dipole — a climate system defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between western and eastern areas of the ocean.

The ocean off East Africa is currently far warmer than usual, resulting in higher evaporation resutling in rain over the continent.

Woman Found Dead In Landslide After Storm Batters France

French firemen search for a 71-year-old woman following a landslide after heavy rains in Nice, southern France, on November 3, 2019.
Yann COATSALIOU / AFP

 

A 71-year-old woman was found dead Monday after being engulfed by a landslide in the French city of Nice, as the south of the country counted the cost from a brutal storm.

Storm Amelie brought freak winds, downpours and monster waves to southern France over the weekend. The woman, 71, who died in her own back yard, was the only reported fatality.

The storm dropped trees on roads and railway tracks and ripped loose live electrical wires, leaving tens of thousands of people without power for hours on end, authorities said.

About 60 rescuers worked through the night in search of the woman, who was reported missing after a landslide buried her back garden as she was sweeping during a brief respite of heavy rains over Nice, said emergency services spokesman Eric Brocardi.

They moved more than 80 m3 of soil mixed with concrete blocks from a collapsed retaining wall before finding her body.

Sixteen residents of the same neighbourhood, where other landslides have since occurred, have been evacuated as a precaution.

Weather service Meteo France said winds as strong as 163 km/h (100 mph) were recorded in the southwest coastal departments of Gironde and Landes Sunday, and 121 km/h in Bordeaux.

Six people sustained minor injuries as Amelie pummelled the Atlantic coast.

Several trains were cancelled and several delayed for hours after about 50 trees came down on the lines, said rail operator SNCF.

Landslide Kills 22 In Southern Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Flag

 

Rescue workers on Tuesday used excavators to dig out bodies after a landslide in southern Ethiopia washed away homes and killed more than 20 people, a local official said. 

The landslide in the remote district of Konta occurred Sunday following 10 hours of heavy rains, said the official, Takele Tesfu.

“There are 22 people dead and we have only been able to dig up 17 using manpower and machine power,” Takele told AFP.

“So far, we cannot get the others, so tomorrow we will continue to dig.”

He said the victims included nine women and six children.

While the district — located in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region — sees landslides with some regularity, Takele said this was the deadliest he could remember.

“The area where this occurred is very mountainous, and this means the landslide was very dangerous,” he said.

Ethiopia is nearing the end of its rainy season, but security forces are nonetheless relocating some families for fear that more rain in the coming days could lead to similar disasters, Takele said.

AFP

Landslide Leaves 17 Missing In China

This photo taken on August 15, 2019 shows a landslide which covered railway tracks in Ganluo in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.

 

 

More than a dozen workers remained missing Friday after a landslide in southwest China buried a section of railway that was under repair, according to state media. 

The 17 missing people were carrying out maintenance work on the track Wednesday when the hill above them gave way, China Daily reported.

The landslide in Ganluo county in Sichuan province happened very quickly, a witness told the newspaper.

“I spotted a strange movement on the mountain slope after a truck passed. And I shouted, telling everyone to run away,” said Chen Kun, an official from the China Railway Chengdu Group.

“The rocks and mud fell within two or three seconds…while we were running, we could feel rocks chasing us,” Chen told China Daily.

Rescue operations are under way with 11 workers pulled from the rubble that buried 70 metres (yards) of track, the newspaper said.

The area has been hit by several landslides this summer as massive rains cause hills in the mountainous region to collapse.

Elsewhere in China a wet summer has claimed lives.

Last week at least 18 people were killed in a landslide triggered by torrential downpours in the coastal city of Wenzhou as Typhoon Lekima pounded cities along China’s eastern seaboard.

In July, at least 42 died in a landslide which buried a village in Guizhou province, with a thick torrent of mud burying 22 houses.

AFP

13 Killed In Myanmar Monsoon Landslide

People look at a hole in a road caused after flooding in Mawlamyein, Mon state on August 9, 2019. A landslide caused by heavy monsoon rains killed at least 13 people and injured dozens more in eastern Myanmar, officials said on August 9, as floods forced tens of thousands across the country to flee their homes.
CHIT Ko Lin / AFP

 

A landslide caused by heavy monsoon rains killed at least 13 people and injured dozens more in eastern Myanmar, officials said Friday, as floods forced tens of thousands across the country to flee their homes.

The deluge of mud engulfed 16 homes and a monastery early Friday in Thae Pyar Kone village in Mon state, district administrator Myo Min Tun told AFP.

“Thirteen people have so far been found dead and 27 taken to hospital in Mawlamyine (Mon state’s capital),” he told AFP by phone.

Emergency teams are set to continue the search and rescue operation into Friday night in the hunt for more survivors or to retrieve bodies.

Workers were also trying to unblock the main highway from Yangon to Mawlamyine, buried under up to six feet (1.8 metres) of debris, Myo Min Tun added.

Torrential downpours have caused rivers to burst their banks across the country while coastal communities have been warned of looming high tides.

AFP aerial images showed how the town of Shwegyin in eastern Bago region had turned into a vast lake after the Sittaung river burst its banks.

Just the rooftops of some buildings could be seen as residents grabbed all they could before fleeing in rescue boats.

Officials say at least 30,000 people, mainly in Bago region and Mon and Karen states, were seeking refuge from the floods, many in monasteries.

The UN’s Office for Coordinated Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has estimated around 89,000 people have been displaced in recent weeks, although many have since been able to return home.

Vietnam has also experienced heavy flooding this week with at least eight people killed in the country’s central highlands.

Rescuers used a zipline to take dozens of victims to safety in Lam Dong province.

At Least 13 Killed In Myanmar Mine Landslide


 

At least 13 jade mine workers and security guards in northern Myanmar were killed in a landslide Sunday, authorities said, as rescuers frantically searched for more victims.

Dozens die each year in landslides caused by jade mining, a dangerous and poorly regulated industry in Kachin state between the country’s borders with China and India.

Myanmar’s fire services department said in a Facebook post the accident happened in the early morning in Hpakant township.

“We have sent two injured men and the dead bodies of 13 men” to a local hospital, the department said.

A police officer on the scene told AFP that the upper part of a mine collapsed and fell around 200 metres (700 feet) onto those sleeping below.

Though new regulations suspend mining during the wet season peak from July through September, some workers stay on site.

Heavy rains pounded the area over the last week, according to the officer, who said the search for those missing is ongoing.

The deadly landslide is the latest to hit Hpakant, the epicentre of a multibillion jade trade fueled by insatiable demand in China.

In April more than 54 people were killed when a massive landslide buried workers along with dozens of vehicles.

Many miners are from impoverished ethnic minority communities who risk their lives hunting the translucent green gemstone.

Drug addiction among workers is also a major problem in Hpakant, which has been turned into a vast moonscape-like terrain by years of mining.

Watchdog Global Witness estimated that the industry was worth some $31 billion in 2014.

But corruption means very little reaches state coffers.

Jade and other abundant natural resources in northern Myanmar including timber, gold and amber have helped finance both sides of a decades-long civil war between ethnic Kachin insurgents and the military.

China Landslide Death Toll Rises To 26

This photo taken on July 25, 2019 shows rescuers searching for survivors at the site of a landslide in Liupanshui in China’s southwestern Guizhou province. STR / AFP

 

The death toll in a landslide that buried a village in southwest China rose to 26 on Friday following the discovery of two more bodies, state media said.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said 25 people were still missing three days after the disaster which struck in Shuicheng county, Guizhou province.

Two children and a mother with a baby — who were unearthed on Thursday — were among the dead, according to official news outlets.

Eleven people have been found alive since the side of a hill collapsed on 22 homes late Tuesday, covering them in thick mud.

CCTV broadcast footage of rescue workers trying to reach survivors on a huge mound of earth, with workers in orange overalls carrying a victim on a stretcher.

Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly after heavy rain, and the country has suffered severe flooding this year.

In August 2017 at least 30 people were killed in two separate landslides in the same rural province of Guizhou.

AFP