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Indonesian President Urges Speed in Landslide Rescue


Rescuers try to pull out the body of a victim of a landslide that swept away a village in Jemblung, Central Java, Indonesia, Dec. 14, 2014.

Indonesian rescuers started using heavy equipment in the search for more than 70 people missing after a mudslide, triggered by torrential rains, buried a village late Friday.

President Joko Widodo visited the area Sunday and stressed the need to speed up search efforts. Rescuers had been digging through the mud and rubble with bare hands and makeshift tools.

Officials said that as of Sunday, the death toll in Jemblung village in Banjarnegara district of Central Java province rose to at least 32, with 76 people missing.

More than 2,000 police, soldiers and volunteers are involved in the search and rescue operations.

The national disaster agency said 15 people had been rescued, 11 of them with serious injuries. More than 500 other people have been evacuated to temporary shelters.

More rain on Saturday hampered rescue efforts.

The rainy season has begun in Indonesia, a time when landslides triggered by heavy downfalls and floods are common.

Some material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.