Rain halts search after Indon landslide

Nearly 30 people buried in Java landslide
Nearly 30 people buried in Java landslide

Heavy rains have halted the search for at least two dozen people missing after a landslide swept into a village on Indonesia's main island of Java.

Four excavators working under cloudy skies dredged the mud, sand and rocks, pilling the debris up to 20 meters high.

Two bodies were discovered before the search was suspended due to heavy rain. One body was found Saturday.

The landslide hit some 23 houses and farmers harvesting ginger at Banaran village in East Java's Ponorogo district.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency, said 27 people were missing.

According to villagers, 38 people were buried by the landslide.

Rescuers from the disaster agency along with soldiers, police officers and volunteers are searching for the missing. Access to the site was hampering the effort.

The landslide - measuring 800 meters long and 20 meters high - overturned vehicles, shattered and buried buildings, and left a massive scar on a hillside where lush vegetation has been torn away.

Seasonal rains cause frequent floods in Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago nation, where many of the country's 256 million people live in mountainous areas or fertile, flood-prone plains near rivers.