Central Java: 35 dead and dozens missing in landslides and floods
by Mathias Hariyadi

Numerous affected districts. 27 bodies recovered so far, but the toll is expected to rise. Relief efforts hampered by heavy rains. Priest: "My mother was saved, but I still have nine missing relatives." The local Caritas prepares emergency response.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - At least 35 people have died in the floods and landslides that have continued for two days in Central Java. The death toll is still provisional and there are several dozen scattered villages covered by mudslides. Budhi Harjono, head of the rescue efforts, said that his men have now recovered 27 bodies in the sub-district of Loano. The rescue operations were suspended yesterday due to heavy rains.

Local priest Fr. Tukiran describes how his mother and the family of his younger brother were saved in the village of Donokerti: "But nine others belonging to my extended family are still missing and perhaps killed under this ocean of mud”.

The Jakarta office against environmental disasters (Bnpb) published a note stating that dozens of districts and regencies of Central Java are still in emergency because of rivers that are breaking their banks. The spokesman Sutopo Juwono confirmed the death of 35 people and the disappearance of other 25. The seriously injured so far number 14.

Purworwjo district is worst affected by landslides and flooding. Fr. Tarcisius Puryatno, vicar general of the Purwokerto Diocese (including the district), says that the local Caritas is organizing an immediate rescue plan: "As soon as the damage assessments are completed, the Church of Purwokerto is ready to intervene to address this natural disaster. "

In Padang, capital of West Sumatra, hundreds of people were forced to flee their homes because of torrential rains.

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