Sumedang landslide death toll reaches 16: SAR agency

Bandung, W Java Death toll in West Java's landslides that hit Cihanjuang Village, Cimanggung Sub-district, Sumedang District, on Saturday, had reached 16, as rescuers found three other bodies during search efforts on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Bandung's Search and Rescue (SAR) Agency Head Deden Ridwansyah has projected a steady rise in death toll as a joint team of SAR workers is making sustained efforts to locate 23 other residents, who are still missing.

"The final death toll is subject to change. It depends on reports from local communities or families of the victims," he remarked, adding that two backhoes and several other SAR equipment are being deployed in the SAR operation.

Bodies of three landslide victims found by SAR workers on Monday at 9:05 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. local time and on Tuesday at 9:55 a.m. local time were moved to a local public health center.

Some 1,108 people are involved in the SAR mission to locate victims of the landslides that occurred at around 3:30 p.m. local time and at around 7 p.m. local time following torrential downpour. Various areas in West Java Province are prone to natural disasters.

According to the province's Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), at least 1,039 natural disasters were reported in various parts of West Java and affected 768,319 residents between January and August of 2020.

The agency's head, Dani Ramdan, had remarked in September 2020 that most catastrophes were hydrological disasters, such as flooding and landslides.

Of the hydrological disasters, 521 were landslides, he noted, adding that the BPBD officials had undertaken prevention and mitigation efforts by implementing all requisite measures mandated in the government's health protocols.

The health protocols were prepared in areas, such as the northern coast of West Java, Bekasi, Subang, Karawang, Tasikmalaya, and Bandung, which are prone to hydrological disasters, to contain the spread of COVID-19, Ramdan stated.

Health protocols were, for instance, enforced when the agency's officials assisted residents acutely impacted by flooding in the southern areas of Bandung in April 2020, he pointed out.

In addition to hydrological disasters, West Java is prone to earthquakes. On August 24, 2020, for instance, a 5.2-magnitude earthquake had rocked Pangandaran District.

Epicenter of the quake, striking at 00:38 a.m. local time, was located some 231 kilometers southwest of Pangandaran, at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG).

Source: Antara News

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