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03 Jan 2019 description
report BenarNews

Tia Asmara

Heavy rain and bad roads hampered the search for 20 people missing after this week’s deadly landslide in Indonesia’s West Java province, officials said Wednesday.

At least 15 people died when the landslide buried houses in a village in Sukabumi regency on Monday, National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, calling it the biggest landslide to hit the area in 50 years. The government of Sukabumi has declared a seven-day emergency response period.

30 Dec 2018 description
report BenarNews

Tria Dianti

Another 20,000 people have been evacuated from coastal areas along Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, officials said Friday, as the volcano that caused last week’s tsunami continued to rumble.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), said 40,386 people had been pulled out of coastal communities of Banten and Lampung provinces, which were devastated when a huge chunk of the Anak Krakatau volcano collapsed into the sea on Dec. 22, spawning waves that surged inland and killed over 400 people.

28 Dec 2018 description
report BenarNews

Hadi Azmi and Mariyam Ahmad
Kuala Lumpur and Pattani, Thailand

The new Malaysian facilitator of peace negotiations in southern Thailand has reached out to insurgents not yet participating in those talks and launched a “dialogue process” with them, he told BenarNews on Thursday.

The revelation came as he confirmed that he would meet in Bangkok on Jan. 4 with the chief Thai negotiator in the talks, who was among those urging a hardline faction of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (the National Revolutionary Front or BRN) to come to the table in recent weeks.

11 Dec 2018 description
report BenarNews

Victor Mambor
Jayapura, Indonesia

Political leaders in Indonesia’s troubled Papua province urged the National Human Rights Commission on Monday to send a team to investigate violence in Nduga regency that killed about two dozen people this month.

The heads of the Papuan Representatives Council (DPR Papua) and Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) made the calls after security forces allegedly killed four civilians during an anti-insurgency operation last week that followed the slayings of 19 construction workers and a soldier by separatist rebels.

10 Dec 2018 description
report BenarNews

Dennis Jay Santos
Davao City, Philippines

Communist rebels in the Philippines declared a unilateral Christmastime ceasefire on Friday, apparently unaware that troops had arrested a senior consultant of the insurgent group and his wife earlier in the day.

06 Nov 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Karl Romano

Search and retrieval crews have pulled 16 bodies from a storm-induced landslide that buried a government building in the mountainous northern Philippines, officials said Monday.

Efforts continued to find another 12 people believed buried in the landslide in the town of Natonin in Mountain Province, local disaster chief Ruben Carandang said.

“We have recovered, on my record –identified with names and addresses – 14 from ground zero and two outside of ground zero. So we have a total of 16,” Carandang told reporters.

25 Oct 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Wilawan Watcharasakwet and Nontarat Phaicharoen

Malaysia and Thailand have agreed to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation to contain an insurgency along their shared border after changing peace negotiators, and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad promised Wednesday to help solve the conflict as he started a visit to Bangkok.

The 93-year-old Mahathir met with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha as he began his first state visit to Thailand since taking office again as premier five months ago.

23 Oct 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Mariyam Ahmad and Araya Pocha

Thailand’s new army chief struck an upbeat tone ahead of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s first official visit that begins Wednesday, saying the leader of the new government in Kuala Lumpur was on the same page as his Thai counterpart regarding southern peace talks.

17 Oct 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Froilan Gallardo and Richel V. Umel

Thousands of Filipino Muslims displaced by last year’s gunbattles in the southern Philippine city of Marawi demanded Tuesday that they be immediately allowed to return to their destroyed homes – one year after the Islamic State-led siege left more than 1,200 people dead and turned the former Muslim trading hub into a virtual ghost town.

16 Oct 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Wilawan Watcharasakwet and Nontarat Phaicahroen, and Muzliza Mustafa

Thailand has named a new chief negotiator in stalled talks aimed at resolving a decades-long separatist conflict in its southern border region, while a panel representing insurgent groups has expanded, officials said Tuesday.

04 Oct 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Karl Romano

Search operations for more bodies buried under tons of debris are to be called off in the northern and central Philippines because excavation efforts at landslide sites have become too dangerous, the disaster relief agency said Wednesday.

The official death toll has reached 79 people in the northern mining town of Itogon, according to the updated figure from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

25 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Jeoffrey Maitem and Froilan Gallardo

Rescuers retrieved more bodies from the rubble of two landslides that devastated two towns in the Philippines, raising the death toll to at least 96, with dozens still listed as missing, officials said Monday.

In what is shaping up as the country’s worst disaster for the year, authorities said 51 bodies have been pulled out from the rubble in a landslide that hit a quarry site in central city of Naga, which collapsed on Sept. 20. As many as 40 other people are believed missing.

21 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

Mark Navales and Dennis Jay Santos

A landslide buried more than 20 houses and left at least a dozen people dead and scores missing in the central Philippines on Thursday, officials said, as search-and-rescue teams kept digging through an avalanche of mud that hit a northern mining community.

The side of a mountain at a quarry site in the city of Naga in Cebu province gave way after two days of incessant rain, burying houses that belonged to a community of informal settlers, said Supt. Samuel Tadeo, chief of the Philippine Bureau of Fire Protection’s rescue unit.

18 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Jeoffrey Maitem, Karl Romano and Luis Liwanag

Hundreds of rescuers raced against the clock Monday to dig through 30 feet of mud in efforts to reach as many as 50 miners and their families, who were believed to be trapped by a landslide unleashed by Typhoon Manghkut in a northern Philippine mining town.

As police and volunteers used bare hands, picks and shovels to find the missing people in Itogon town, the overall death toll from the swift-moving typhoon had reached 58 as of Monday, according to the Office of Civil Defense. The death toll is expected to climb.

18 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Peerzada Mohammad Amin

Separatist groups ordered shopkeepers in Indian Kashmir to close their businesses Monday to protest the killings of at least eight suspected militants by security forces last week, along with five more rebels and a civilian in weekend violence.

On Monday morning, an Indian soldier was fatally shot in the disputed Himalayan region, officials said, as authorities beefed up security across Jammu and Kashmir state to prevent anti-India protests and maintain order.

17 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

Jeoffrey Maitem, Karl Romano and Luis Liwanag
Baggao, Philippines

Philippine rescuers reported on Sunday that dozens of gold miners and their families could be trapped by a landslide that buried an old shaft and areas converted into living spaces in Benguet province as the death toll from Typhoon Mangkhut rises.

The typhoon slammed into the Philippines on Saturday bringing winds of 170 kph (105 mph) with gusts of 260 kph (160 mph), killing as many as 60 people and government and municipal officials expect the death toll to grow.

14 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Jeoffrey Maitem and Karl Romano

Laoag, Philippines

Thousands of people were evacuated to safer ground as the Philippines prepared for the arrival of Typhoon Mangkhut, the most powerful storm expected to hit the archipelago in 2018, officials said Thursday.

Typhoon Mangkhut was tracked earlier in the day approaching the Philippines from the western Pacific at 20 kilometers per hour (12.4 miles per hour) and sustaining winds of up to 205 kph (127.3 mph). It is expected to make landfall in the country’s northern region on Saturday.

13 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

Karl Romano and Jeoffrey Maitem

Dagupan and Cotabato, Philippines

With Typhoon Mangkhut packing winds of up to 205 kilometers per hour (127.3 mph) as it churned towards the Philippines on Wednesday, the government placed all disaster relief officials in the north on high alert for potential heavy damage.

Mangkhut, which Philippine officials were describing as a potential super typhoon, was also sustaining gusts of as strong as 255 kph (158.4 mph) and was forecast more than 1,000 km off the town of Guiuan, on the country’s eastern seaboard.

03 Sep 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Mark Navales and Jeoffrey Maitem

At least one person was killed and 15 others were wounded when a home-made bomb exploded in the southern Philippines on Sunday night, in a second fatal attack targeting the same town in less than a week, the military said.

Officials said the bomb was planted near a pawnshop in Isulan town, the capital of Sultan Kudarat province on Mindanao island. Of the wounded, three were in critical condition, Capt. Arvin Encinas, a local spokesman for the army said, adding that fatality had been identified as an 18-year-old boy.

29 Aug 2018 description
report BenarNews

By Jeoffrey Maitem and Mark Navales

At least 36 people were wounded and one person was killed when an improvised bomb exploded during a Tuesday evening fiesta at a town in the troubled southern Philippines, according to a military report from the ground.

The injured included two soldiers who were guarding the local festivities in Isulan town, which is located in Sultan Kudarat province, authorities said.