Landslides in Bali villages kill 12, torrential rains expected to continue

Villagers search for their belongings after a landslide in Bangli, Bali, Indonesia, on February 10, 2017, after a landslide struck three villages in the Kintamani area in Bali, killing 12 people killed the night before. Officials at the National Disaster Agency said the landslide was caused by sustained torrential rain. Photo by Made Nagi/EPA

Feb. 10 (UPI) — Landslides caused by sustained torrential rains in Bali hit three villages, destroying homes and villages late Thursday night and taking lives along the way.

At least 12 people, including several children, were killed in landslides after heavy rains in Songan, Awan and Sukawarna villages in Bali, Indonesia, caused landslides, emergency officials reported early Friday morning as they continued rescue operations.

Indonesian officials have warned people living near the bases of some mountains and other areas that with mining and land clearing, much of it illegal, the government expects that torrential rains like those seen in the last two days can cause landslides and floods.

“Landslides happen almost every year in Bali and cost lives,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Agency, said in a statement. “Spatial planning must be enforced. Public education must be intensified.”

Although the tourist areas of Bali do not see as many landslides as the rest of Indonesia, Sutopo said with the nearly six inches of rain that has fallen in the last day, and more to come, conditions are ripe for landslides.

Between the three villages, at least five homes were destroyed, with 12 people confirmed killed in the landslides, including several children.

Many in the area are not surprised about life-threatening landslides because “when rain falls constantly it causes a landslide,” business owner Gde Mangun said Friday.

Indonesian officials said in a statement they expected heavy rain to continue in several parts of the country Friday and warned of the chance for landslides, flooding and tornadoes.


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