A landslide hit Maulu hamlet in Rembon district, Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, on Thursday morning, killing a villager and destroying two houses.
Usman Tato, 65, was buried inside his house, which was located on a slope in the village, at around 4 a.m. local time.
Tana Toraja Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) official Alfian Andi Lolo said that this was the second landslide to occur on the slope.
“When the first landslide occurred, the victim’s children asked him to leave his house since the first landslide happened right next to the deceased’s house. However, he ignored the warning, and died when the second landslide hit,” Alfian said.
The victim's body was recovered by his family and neighbors. According to Alfian, the area had experienced downpours over the last three days.
Landslides are common in Tana Toraja as the area is mountainous and deforestation has left slopes bare and prone to rainy season landslides.
“We've always warned the public, especially those who live in hilly areas, to leave their houses during heavy rain, but they’ve always ignored it,” Alfian said.
The local administration, Alfian added, had tried to relocate the people who lived in landslide-prone areas, but some of them had decided to remain. (dpk)