ACTNews, SUKABUMI – Heavy rains fell on several areas in Sukabumi Regency on Monday (12/31), causing landslide that buried Cimapag Hamlet, Sirnaresmi Village, Cisolok Sub-District, Sukabumi. The landslide that happened on Monday at 5 p.m. had not only buried dozens of houses, but also killed several local villagers.
According to Disaster Management Institute of Indonesia (DMII) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT), as of Tuesday (1/1) at 2:30 a.m., the number of families affected by the landslide has reached 32, comprising of around 107 people. Nine were confirmed dead, three were heavily injured, 61 were displaced, and 34 were still missing.
Coordinator of ACT Emergency Response team, Kusmayadi, reported that the evacuation team consisting of four volunteers from Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) - ACT Sukabumi reached the location on Monday evening.
“They reported that, when they arrived, the location was covered in darkness because there was a blackout. This makes it difficult for the Search and Rescue team to evacuate the victims,” said Kusmayadi, Tuesday (1/1).
The evacuation process was also hampered by the heavy rain that fell on the location. Kusmayadi explained that the muddy soil and the steep road made it almost impossible for the heavy equipment to reach the location.
“The evacuation process had to stop several times. The rain was continuous and the heavy equipment had not arrived. It was impossible to continue the search with bare hands,” said Kusmayadi.
Based on the information from Head of the Volcanology Survey Indonesia (PVMBG), Kasbani, the landslide-hit area in Sukabumi was among the areas with moderate to high landslide vulnerability. The landslide-hit location lies around 650-800 meters above the sea level with more than 30⁰ gradient.
“With moderate to high soil movement vulnerability, the land could slide if the precipitation rate reached above average. It is estimated that the landslide was caused by the soil breakdown. Cimapag Hamlet, Sirnaresmi Village is still highly vulnerable to subsequent landslides,” said Kasbani in his written statement.
Kusmayadi added that ACT has also sent another team from Bandung. “They arrived earlier this morning (1/1) and immediately helped the rescue personnel. Unfortunately, the cellular network is not working. Our field team had to rely on radio communication. We have not received any latest news,” he said.
Until Tuesday (1/1), the search continues manually. The joint Search and Rescue team, including ACT’s Emergency Response personnel, is still waiting for the arrival of the excavator.
“We will keep monitoring the team on the location. We are also planning to send more team because of the massive devastation, and the death toll is estimated to increase,” concluded Kusmayadi.