43 die in landslides on Indonesia's Java island

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Rain-triggered landslides have killed at least 43 people and buried hundreds of houses on Indonesia's main island of Java, local officials have confirmed.

Rain-triggered landslides have killed at least 43 people and buried hundreds of houses on Indonesia's main island of Java, local officials have confirmed.

Gatot Arif, a local government spokesman in the town of Cilacap, said 30 people were buried alive in seven different landslides in the region early Monday. At least 20 houses were destroyed.

He said local villagers were searching through tons of mud and fallen debris themselves and police and soldiers were on their way to the region to help in the rescue effort.

Arif said the death toll could rise as he feared more bodies were buried under the mud.

In the neighboring district of Banyumas, around 400 kilometers (248 miles) southeast of Jakarta, police said six people were buried alive when landslides struck several villages also Monday.

On Sunday, seven people were killed in another landslide in the nearby district of Tasikmalaya.

In addition to the landslides, incessant rains since Sunday have also caused floods in two other districts, damaging hundreds of houses and leaving at least 4,000 homeless.

Landslides in Indonesia are frequently triggered by heavy tropical rains falling on areas already loosened by widespread deforestation.

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