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Search continues for survivors of Indonesian landslides

Rescuers are searching for 42 people still missing after two landslides triggered by torrential rains hit villages on an island in Indonesia's remote Natuna regency.

Dozens of soldiers, police and volunteers joined the search in the Genting and Pangkalan villages on a remote island surrounded by choppy waters and high waves in the Natuna group at the edge of the South China Sea.

There were reports of 42 people trapped in 27 houses that were buried under tons of mud from surrounding hills.

Natuna's disaster agency lowered the death toll on Tuesday morning to 10 from 11 despite fears it could rise.

It said on its website rescuers pulled eight injured people from the landslides, four of who were in critical condition and have been taken to a hospital in Pontianak city on Borneo island, about 285 kilometres away.

The landslides displaced more than 1200 people who were taken to evacuation centres and other shelters.

National Disaster Management Agency spokesman Abdul Muhari said authorities were still collecting information about the full scale of casualties and damage in the affected areas.

He said two helicopters and several vessels carrying rescuers and relief supplies, including tents, blankets, food and medical teams, are travelling from Jakarta and nearby islands.

"Distribution of relief supplies has been difficult because the injured and displaced are spread out and hard to reach," Muhari said.

He said the search and rescue operation had been hampered by rainy weather around the disaster site, downed communications lines and a lack of heavy equipment.

Seasonal rains and high tides in recent days have caused dozens of landslides and widespread flooding across much of Indonesia, a chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains close to rivers.

In November 2022, a landslide triggered by a 5.6 magnitude earthquake killed at least 335 people in West Java's Cianjur city, about one third of them children.