Dozens are drowned in Java mudslides

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The Independent Online

More than 40 people in Indonesia are believed to have drowned under tons of liquid mud and 4,000 have been made homeless after torrential rains swamped villages on the main island of Java.

More than 40 people in Indonesia are believed to have drowned under tons of liquid mud and 4,000 have been made homeless after torrential rains swamped villages on the main island of Java.

At least 43 bodies have already been recovered from numerous mudslides in the districts of Cilacap, Banyumas and Tasikmalaya, about 220 miles east of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Many more are likely to be found when a full recovery operation can be mounted in areas where roads and railways have also been damaged by the rains.

In Cilacap alone, 30 people are known to have been buried alive, with nine more missing, presumed dead and 20 houses destroyed.

Attempts to rescue the buried victims had to be abandoned last night when the rain intensified, endangering the police and soldiers carrying out the recovery operation.

The rains, which have fallen unabated since Sunday, have also caused floods, damaging crops and houses. In some of the stricken areas, the authorities have ordered evacuations in anticipation of further mudslides.

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