Landslide forces hundreds of Wonosobo villagers to evacuate

Wonosobo, C Java (ANTARA News) - A landslide hit Garung Lor village in Sukoharjo sub-district, Wonosob District, Central Java Province, on Saturday, forcing hundreds of villagers to evacuate themselves to a safer places.

The landslide came from a hill having a height of about 20 meters and a width 20 meters, that belonged to state-owned forestry company Perum Perhutani, Muhai, coordinator of the Wonosobo SAR team, said here Sunday.

"There were no report of casualties in the landslide that occurred on Saturday at 6.30 pm, following incessant heavy rains," he stated.

Some 298 people from 82 families fled to Garung Canguk village hall, he added. They stayed in the temporary shelter because rains continued to fall until Sunday. They feared that subsequent landslides might happen.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) recently released data showing that 496 instances of whirlwinds, 458 floods, and 413 landslides affected Indonesia last year.

The disasters claimed the lives of 355 people and forced 1.7 million to be evacuated. They also left 25,000 destructed houses in their wake.

Currently, a number of provinces are experiencing flooding and landslides since the rainy season peaks between January and February.

"As predicted earlier, floods will continue to intensify as we enter January. Rainy season in January has the potential to trigger floods and landslides," Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman of BNPB, said on Jan. 14, 2015.(*)