Indonesian rescuers end search for landslide victims

Indonesian rescuers end search for landslide victims

JAKARTA - Indonesian rescuers Sunday ended their search for victims of a landslide on the main island of Java, officials said, giving a new death toll of 95.

"The search for victims buried under the landslide... ended on Sunday," said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

"The team found the bodies of a mother and her child today. A total of 95 people were killed and 13 others were missing," he added.

Hundreds of rescuers had been digging with shovels through mud and rubble since the landslide swept down a hillside and buried scores of houses in Jemblung village in central Java on December 12.

Nugroho said families of victims agreed to halt the search due to rainy weather and the threat of more landslides.

Around 2,000 people were evacuated to temporary shelters, and the focus would be on relocating them, he added.

Landslides triggered by heavy rain and floods are common in tropical Indonesia during the rainy season.

The national disaster agency estimates around half the country's 250 million population lives in areas prone to landslides.

The vast Indonesian archipelago is one of the world's most disaster-prone nations. Apart from landslides, it is also frequently hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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