Central Java landslides force evacuation

By Agus Maryono

At least 20 people were evacuated following landslides in Kaliajir village, Banjarnegara regency, Central Java, after landslides affected around 140 houses.

“The level of the damage varied. There are houses whose foundations have been undermined and there are also houses that have cracks as a result of soil movements,” villager Karmin, 43 said on Wednesday.

Kaliajir village chief Zaenal Arifin said the soil movements occurred after two days of heavy rain. He said the landslides had badly damaged 41 houses and 100 others were less severely damaged.

In order to prevent any casualties, the village authorities decided to evacuate people whose houses were vulnerable to landslides. Some villagers had also opted to clear out their houses and move to safer locations.

Landslides also struck Surengede Village, Wonosobo regency, where more than 25 people were evacuated after their houses were damaged. No casualties were reported in the incident.

Banjarnegara is the most landslide-prone of 35 regencies in Central Java. Landslides always occur every rainy season and frequently claim lives. Of 20 districts in Banjarnegara, only one is not prone to landslides.

In 2014, 108 people were killed in a landslide in Sijemblung Village, Karangkobar district, which buried hundreds of houses, a mosque and dozens of vehicles. (rin)