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  Monday, December 9, 2019
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The death toll has reached 78 on Indonesia's largest island
The death toll has reached 78 on Indonesia's largest island of Java following landslides triggered by monsoon rains, regional media said on Wednesday.

At least 61 people have been killed and 36 are missing after a landslide struck the Karanganyar district in central Java early in the morning, following two days of consecutive rain, the Bangkok Post said.

Rescue efforts are being hampered by blocked roads and a shortage of heavy equipment, the newspaper said.

At least 16 people were buried alive in the nearby Wonogiri district, and the rains have also caused widespread flooding, sweeping away homes and causing extensive damage.

"This is the worst landslide and flash flood disaster in 40 years," the newspaper quotes a rescue worker as saying.

Indonesia is frequently hit by natural disasters, with seasonal rains claiming numerous lives in the country, where the vast majority of the population live in mountainous regions and fertile land close to rivers. Experts cite increasing deforestation as a factor with forests helping to prevent landslides and flooding.


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