Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - The South Sulawesi provincial government is moving swiftly to respond to landslides that hit Manggau and Lembang Randan Batu Villages in Makale Selatan Subdistrict, Tana Toraja District, on Saturday (April 13) night.

"We are maximizing all the potential to provide help and evacuation. Teams from the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) and the Social Affairs Office have left for the landslide-ravaged areas," Acting Governor of South Sulawesi Bahtiar Baharuddin said here Sunday.

Baharuddin expressed condolences for the landslides that killed 18 people and caused two others to go missing.

He has also departed to Tana Toraja District to convey his condolences to the victims' families.

In addition, heads of the South Sulawesi BPBD and Social Affairs Office as well as teams from the Regional Leadership Coordination Forum have also left for the disaster-hit areas.

"On behalf of the provincial government and the people of South Sulawesi, we express our deepest condolences for our affected brothers and sisters in Tana Toraja," he said.

According to a report from the South Sulawesi BPBD, the landslides occurred on Saturday (April 13) at around 11:00 p.m. Central Indonesia Time (WITA).

In Palangka, Manggau Village, 14 bodies of villagers falling victim to the catastrophe had been sent to Lakipadada Hospital. Two residents surviving the landslide were in critical condition, while two others still go missing.

Meanwhile, in Lembang Randan Batu Village, four residents got killed. Thus, the death toll.from the landslides reached 18.

Meanwhile, Head of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas)-Makassar Office Mexianus Bekabel stated that rescue workers continued their search mission to find the missing victims.

According to information he received, the rescuers, however, face a problem to reach the disaster area in the midst of unstable weather and ground conditions.

For the sake of their own safety, the joint team of SAR kept staying alert to the situation when searching for the two missing residents,he added.

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Translator: Nur Suhra, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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