Rescuers search for dozens buried by Indonesian landslide that killed 23 people

Jakarta: Rescue workers dug through tons of mud and rubble on Tuesday as they searched for dozens of missing people after a landslide hit an unauthorized gold mining area on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, killing at least 23 people.

More than 100 villagers were digging for grains of gold on Sunday in the remote and hilly village of Bone Bolango when tons of mud plunged down the surrounding hills and buried their makeshift camps, said Heriyanto, head of the provincial Search and Rescue Office.

Rescuers recovered more bodies on Tuesday in the devastated hamlet where the gold mine is located.

“Improved weather allowed us to recover more bodies,” said Heriyanto, who goes by a single name like many Indonesians.

According to his office, 66 villagers managed to escape from the landslide, 23 were pulled out alive by rescuers, including 18 with injuries, and 23 bodies were recovered, including three women and a 4-year-old boy. About 35 others were missing, it said. National Disaster Management Agency spokesperson Abdul Muhari said torrential rains that have pounded the mountainous district since Saturday triggered the landslide and broke an embankment, causing floods up to the roofs of houses in five villages in Bone Bolango, which is part of a mountainous district in Gorontalo province. Nearly 300 houses were affected and more than 1,000 people fled for safety.

Authorities deployed more than 200 rescuers, including police and military personnel, with heavy equipment to search for the dead and missing in a rescue operation that has been hampered by heavy rains, unstable soil, and rugged, forested terrain, said Afifuddin Ilahude, a local rescue


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