Jakarta. Two deadly landslides in a 3.5-hour interval killed at least 11 people, including a local military leader and a disaster mitigation official who were at the scene to respond to the first one, in the West Java district of Sumedang on Saturday evening.
Officials said eight people remain missing and 18 others sustain injuries as search and rescue operation was suspended overnight due to the risk of another landslide.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Raditya Jati said among the casualties were sub-district military command head Captain Setio Pribadi and an official with the agency’s local branch identified only as Yedi.
Both men arrived at the scene immediately along with rescue workers and police officers after the first report of the landslide, which occurred at around 4:00 p.m. local time, Raditya said.
“The first landslide was triggered by a torrential rain that caused disturbance to land stability of the slope,” he said in a statement.
Another landslide occurred at 19.30 p.m. when first responders were still evacuating victims at the area in Cimanggung subdistrict, Sumedang, about 135 kilometers east of Jakarta, he said.
“According to information from our local office, many people remain missing,” Raditya said.
Evacuation works involving an excavator resumed early on Sunday. A police officer was found buried up to his waist but he survived the accident.
Sumedang is highly prone to landslides, encompassing areas of 60,872 hectares overall, the agency said on its website.