A massive search is underway for survivors on the Indonesian island of Java following torrential rainfall which triggered massive landslides and flash flooding. At least 80 people are feared dead or missing. Many roads are cut-off slowing down the rescue work. Without proper equipment many have been digging with their bare hands hoping to find loved ones alive under thick mud.
Heavy rainfall in this part of central Indonesia is not uncommon but witnesses say not on this scale. Some say it is the worst in a quarter of a century. With villages washed away temporary shelters are being set up in safe areas.
In recent years deforestation has made the local population more vulnerable to natural disasters like this one as the trees no longer act as a natural barrier on the hilly terrain. This latest freak accident comes as Indonesia and neighbouring countries remember the devastating tsunami that hit the region three years ago.
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