Seven Landslide Victims Found in Brebes

Seven Landslide Victims Found in Brebes

ACTNews, BREBES - Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT)'s Emergency Response team, along with the joint team consisting of multiple elements of Brebes society, on Friday (23/2), kept conducting a search for the landslide victims in Pasir Panjang Village, Salem Sub-district, Brebes. 

As it was informed before, the landslide happened on Thursday (22/2), around 8 a.m. in a production forest belonging to Perhutani, BKPH Salem, patch 26 RPH Babakan. Consequently, a number of farmers working in their rice fields in that area were buried. Fourteen farmers survived although they were wounded, while more than 20 others were buried.

ACT dispatched the Emergency Response team from Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI) Wonosobo on Thursday (22/2) at 7.30 a.m. The team then immediately joined the other search and rescue teams from several organizations such as BASARNAS, Brebes Regional Disaster Mitigation Board, Banser, and ORARI. 

According to Taufik, the chief of ACT's Emergency Response Team, his time arrived at the location after an exhausting eight-hour trip from Wonosobo. 

"Even though the trip was quite long and exhausting, it did not stop us from joining the rescue and evacuation operation of the landslide victims. This morning, we only rested for 30 minutes, and immediately joined the morning gathering with all other teams and then conducted the search until late afternoon," he explained.

Around 500 volunteers from multiple institutions, including ACT's Emergency Response Team, were involved in the search and rescue operation of the landslide victims. To make the search and rescue operation easier, the volunteers were divided into four teams, and spread into four different locations.

"We (ACT's Emergency Response Team) were in Team 1, located at the top of the landslide location," explained Taufik.

On the second day, the joint team found two bodies. Previously, on Thursday (22/2), they found five bodies. In two days, the search and rescue teams found seven bodies in total. 

The search and rescue process was quite difficult because the landslide area was quite vast. The mud and debris was thick, not to mention the water stream from the hill that flowed profusely.  

 

As admitted by Taufik and his team, it was tough to find the buried landslide victims because the condition on the site was quite difficult. According to him, one of the obstacles is the potential of subsequent landslide because the soil was crumbly, thick, and covering a vast area. There was also a potential of rain. Moreover, the search and rescue was done manually, for the heavy equipment arrived late.

"The landslide area was quite vast, the distance from the top to the bottom reached 1 kilometer, covering a vast area, similar to the landslide in Banjarnegara. The difficulty was also caused by the late arrival of the heavy equipment. They arrived at the location at 2 p.m.," he explained.

The search and rescue operation was halted on Friday (23/2) at 4 p.p. due to heavy rain. It will be continued on Saturday (24/2). As per the procedure, it was planned that the joint search and rescue team will conduct the operation for seven days, plus another seven days if the victims haven't been found. [] 

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