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Indonesia landslide kills 8 people; 100 missing

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JAKARTA, Indonesia » Torrential rains set off a mudslide down the hills into a village in central Indonesia, killing eight people and leaving more than 100 missing, officials said Saturday.

About 105 houses were swept away by the landslide late Friday in Jemblung village in Banjarnegara district of Central Java province, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

He said rescuers have so far retrieved eight bodies, including an 8-year-old boy, and brought 38 injured villagers to a hospital, four of them in critical condition.

Hundreds of people, including police, soldiers and residents, were digging through the debris with their bare hands, shovels and hoes for 100 people still missing. They were later helped by tractors and bulldozers arriving in the district. About 370 other residents were evacuated to several temporary shelters.

"Mud, rugged terrain and bad weather hampered our rescue efforts," Nugroho said, appealing for more heavy equipment.

Banjarnegara is about 285 miles east of the capital, Jakarta.

Friday’s landslide was the second in several days on densely populated Java island. Mud and rocks also hit Central Java’s Wonosobo district on Thursday, killing at least one villager.

Seasonal rains and high tides in recent days have caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across much of Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains near rivers.

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