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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 08:38 GMT
Indonesia landslide toll mounts
Rescuers in Indonesia are continuing to dig through tonnes of earth and rubbish to search for survivors of Monday's landslide in West Java.

At least 40 bodies have been recovered so far, but the final death toll is expected to be much higher.

About 70 people are still missing, and officials warn there is little chance of finding anyone else alive.

The disaster happened when heavy rains caused a municipal dump to collapse, dislodging tonnes of earth and rubbish.

Up to 70 homes built near the dump were buried, as were the people living there at the time.

Other victims are believed to be scavengers, who earned a living sifting through the rubbish dump for anything valuable.

The accident happened in Cimahi, near the city of Bandung, 180 km (110 miles) south-east of Jakarta.

Rescue efforts

Hundreds of Indonesian soldiers and police joined in the search for survivors on Tuesday.

Local people watched as rescue teams picked though piles of rubble, while a mechanical digger cleared away tonnes of earth.

Jeje, 32, said his father, mother and younger brothers were among the missing.

"I can't think clearly anymore. I just hope that their bodies are found," he told the French news agency AFP.

Rescuers have failed to pull any survivors from the debris since finding six injured people on Monday morning, and local officials warn there is little chance of finding more survivors.

Rescue efforts are also being hampered by continuing rainfall, and local officials have warned that further landslides could be possible.

The whole region has been affected by heavy rain in recent days.

South of Bandung, more than 50,000 people have left their homes due to flooding, local media has reported.

Local village chief Saiful Bagir told Indonesian television that the authorities had promised many times to relocate the rubbish dump.

Landslides are relatively common in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season.

In April 2004, about 40 people died in a landslide in west Sumatra.




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Details of the rescue effort




SEE ALSO:
Indonesia slum landslide kills 40
22 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia mudslide buries bus
24 Apr 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Indonesia
29 Dec 04 |  Country profiles


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