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 Six killed as landslide buries 2 families in N. Sumatra

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BerichtOnderwerp: Six killed as landslide buries 2 families in N. Sumatra    wo 29 jul 2015 - 5:41

The Jakarta Post, Medan, Wed, July 29 2015,

Six people from two families died on Monday evening in the North Sumatran city of Padangsidimpuan after the house they were gathered at was buried by a landslide.

The six deceased have been identified as Nurmini, 27, and three of her children, Maryam Lubis, 5, Muhammad al-Imam, 2, and Ibrahim Lubis, 2 months, as well as siblings Maryam Piliang, 5, and Zainab Piliang, 4.

Nurmini’s 12-year-old daughter Aisya was also with them when the landslide occurred, but was found alive on Tuesday after being buried for more than 11 hours.

South Tapanuli Military Command (Kodim) chief Lt. Col. Uyat Harahap, who deployed local military personnel to help with the recovery of the victims, said Nurmini’s husband Bisri Lubis and the other children’s father Taufik Piliang had survived the disaster.

The landslide, according to Uyat, occurred when Taufik’s family was visiting the Bisris in the latter’s residence in Wek II Silayang-layang sub-district, North Padangsidimpuan district, to celebrate Idul Fitri, when suddenly the house was engulfed by the landslide at 5:30 p.m. local time.

Uyat said four people were able to flee to safety, while seven others were buried.

“It was raining when the landslide occurred. Seven people were buried by the landslide. Six were found dead, while Aisyah was later found as the only survivor,” Uyat told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Uyat said Aisyah had been found by members of a joint rescue team under debris and soil on early Tuesday at around 3:30 a.m. local time.

Uyat said Aisyah had received medical treatment at Padangsidimpuan Hospital. The bodies of the victims, meanwhile, underwent autopsies at the hospital before they were handed over to their relatives. The victims were later buried at the Silayang-layang public cemetery on Tuesday.

Padangsidimpuan Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Muhammad Helmi Lubis said that based on statements from a number of eyewitnesses, the landslide was triggered by heavy rain over the past several days. Helmi added that Bisri’s was the only home that was destroyed by the landslide.

“The house was attached to a cliff wall that collapsed. So when the landslide occurred, it was the only house that was completely destroyed,” he said.

The hilly Padang Sidempuan, home to 200,000 people, used to be a part of South Tapanuli. The city, which is surrounded by the Bukit Barisan Mountains, is situated some 300 kilometers southeast of the North Sumatran capital city of Medan.

A series of landslides also hit some regions in the province earlier this year.

In January, heavy rains triggered a landslide in a hilly area in Pamatang Raya district, Simalungun regency, cutting access between three villages in the agricultural region. In Central Tapanuli regency, heavy downpour also triggered a landslide in Pangaribuan district, disrupting traffic on the Trans-Sumatra highway that connects Pangaribuan village and Sipirok.

No casualties have been reported during the incidents, but thousands of residents were evacuated and a number of villages were cut-off as the landslides destroyed major transportation routes.

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