Fatal landslides hit illegal gold mine on Indonesian island of Sulawesi

(MENAFN) Tragedy struck an illegal gold mine on Indonesia's Sulawesi island as at least 12 people lost their lives and 18 others remain missing following landslides triggered by heavy rains. The incident occurred in Suwawa district, Gorontalo province, early Sunday morning, claiming the lives of miners and local residents. So far, five individuals have been rescued, but efforts continue to locate those still unaccounted for.

The local rescue agency (Basarnas) has mobilized a substantial response effort, deploying 164 rescue teams comprising army and police personnel to conduct search and rescue operations. However, rescue efforts have been hindered by challenging conditions exacerbated by heavy mud and ongoing rainfall in the area. Photos from the scene depict homes devastated by the landslides, underscoring the scale of destruction wrought by the natural disaster.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency has issued warnings to residents, forecasting continued rainfall in parts of Gorontalo province throughout Monday and Tuesday. This forecast heightens concerns of further landslides and reinforces the need for heightened vigilance and preparedness measures among affected communities.

This tragedy is a stark reminder of the vulnerability faced by communities in Indonesia to natural disasters exacerbated by seasonal weather patterns. Earlier in May, heavy rains also triggered floods and mudslides in West Sumatra province, claiming the lives of more than 50 people. The ongoing risks posed by such weather-related disasters underscore the importance of effective disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies in safeguarding lives and communities across the region.  



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