At least 8 dead and 22 missing in avalanche in central Indonesia

At least 8 dead and 22 missing in avalanche in central Indonesia
At least 8 dead and 22 missing in avalanche in central Indonesia

Jakarta, Jul 8 (EFE).- At least eight people have died and 22 remain missing after an avalanche hit an illegal gold mine on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, emergency crews told EFE on Monday.

The rescue operation on the ground, involving dozens of personnel, is trying to locate the missing people among the rubble left by the avalanche that hit a small settlement of houses located near the illegal mine.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning in Suwawa district in North Sulawesi due to heavy rains in the region, the disaster management agency said in a statement.

A representative of the National Search and Rescue Agency told EFE that eight bodies have been recovered so far, while another three – still classified as missing – have been found by residents, but official verification is still needed.

Emergency operations are being hampered by difficult weather conditions and difficult access to the area.

Five people survived the disaster and are being treated for their injuries in a hospital in the region.

Dozens of people die each year in Indonesia in floods and landslides during the rainy season, which usually runs from November to February.

According to environmentalists, many of these natural disasters have been aggravated by the deforestation that the country is suffering at the hands of man and that is devastating its tropical forests. EFE

sh-nc/raa/rrt

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