The death toll from a landslide at a hydroelectric dam project on Indonesia’s Sumatra island has risen to 10, an official said on Thursday (6 May), as the authorities called off a week-long search for victims.
A landslide triggered by heavy rains struck the Chinese-backed Batang Toru hydropower plant on 29 April, burying an estimated 13 people.
Employees were checking on the area over concerns that heavy rains could trigger landslides when the disaster struck.
At least two children are among the victims. The body of a Chinese employee of the plant was identified on Wednesday.
Local disaster-mitigation agency head Hotmatua Rambe told AFP that the search for the victims had ended after unearthing 10 bodies. Three victims remain missing.
The Batang Toru hydropower project – part of China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road infrastructure project – has raised opposition as it is built in an area of rainforest that is the only known habitat of the endangered Tapanuli orangutan.
Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the country during the rainy season.
Indonesia’s disaster agency estimates that 125 million people – nearly half of the country’s population – live in areas at risk of landslides.
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