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46 Bodies Recovered in Indonesia

November 26, 2000

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Rescuers have recovered the bodies of 46 victims and fear more than 100 people were killed by landslides and floods on Indonesia’s monsoon-battered island of Sumatra, reports said Sunday.

At least 55 people were missing and feared dead, many of them believed to be buried under tons of rock and mud after hillsides collapsed on top of remote villages.

Torrential rains were hampering rescue efforts in the provinces of West Sumatra and Aceh on the northern half of the island, the official Antara news agency reported.

The death has mounted as heavy rains have fallen steadily since Thursday, when 10 people drowned in flash floods.

In the hardest-hit area, the Pesisir Selatan district 625 miles northwest of Jakarta, the bodies of 24 victims were recovered after landslides hit two neighboring villages. Antara said another 30 people were still missing in Pesisir Selatan, and at least 25 were unaccounted for in another districts.

Landslides in Indonesia are frequently caused by monsoonal rain in areas where the ground has been weakened by deforestation. Floods and landslides killed at least 119 people on the main island of Java last month.

Update hourly