Massive landslide hits Banaran village, East Java, Indonesia

Massive landslide hits Banaran village, East Java, Indonesia

A massive landslide caused by extreme amounts of rain hit remote Banaran village in Ponorogo Regency, East Java Province, Indonesia around 08:00 local time on Saturday, April 1, 2017. The Banaran village is in an area of high landslide risk and locals say that signs of a potential landslide had been identified 20 days ago.

Authorities said the landslide material extended from the hill about 800 m (0.5 miles) and had a height of about 20 m (65 feet ). 23 houses were affected, some of which are completely buried.

As of 09:00 UTC on April 3, national authorities reported at least 3 deaths and 25 people still missing. As many as 1 655 people are involved in ongoing search and rescue operations. Meanwhile, 300 people have been evacuated to their neighbors.

It is not easy to find the victims, authorities said Sunday. The disaster ground buried the landslide material at the wide affected area. In some spots, the thickness of the material is up to 20 meters. 

Weather, accessibility to the ground, lack of equipment and communication and subsequent landslides are challenges on the ground. Additionally, heavy rain on Sunday afternoon caused the search operation to be temporarily postponed, BNPB said. 

Based on a hazard map, Banaran village is in an area of high potential to the landslides. 

Locals said signs of a potential landslide had already been identified in the last 20 days as heavy rain triggered crack in the hills. Due to the signs, the locals moved to safer places at night. At daylight, they would return back home and do everyday activities.

Featured image credit: BNPB

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